6 Library Resources Every Parent Should Know About
You guys, it’s my favorite week of the year. It’s time for the Friends of the Library annual fall book sale! All of the books that the county library no longer uses in circulation, plus books that have been donated, are sold to the public for dirt cheap prices. Children’s books start at 50 cents. I got 47 books for myself and Lillian for less than $100! The Friends’ sale has become huge in our community, and all the proceeds go toward resources and programming for our library system. Last year, the profits from the sale were enough to buy 2 new bookmobiles.
I love that this sale makes owning books affordable for families. There are dozens of statistics about the importance of having books in the home and how that relates to school-readiness. Unfortunately, many library resources go unutilized.
Each library system is different, but I encourage you to visit your local library’s website and check out what resources are available for you and your children. Even if you already have books in your home, the library has some fun programs that you can add to your toolbox of activities to share with your littles. Why not take advantage of them?
6 great resources for families offered by my local library:
1. Books, obviously.
Some of my favorite memories with my mom are visiting the library and getting to choose my very own books. I’ve had a library card since I was 5, and I’m proud to say I’m still using the same one!
Most libraries have some form of storytime for little ones. Ours has groups for infants-18 months, and for 18 months - 3 years. They don’t really care which one you go to, but I like the separate groups because although the babies benefit greatly from listening to stories, they also sing songs and have lots of developmentally appropriate toys out to play. It’s also nice for the moms because you have plenty to talk about having children the same age.
I’m a librarian and I didn’t even know you could borrow toys from the library until last month! Our library has a large catalog of awesome Montessori appropriate toys. Lots of Melissa and Doug, realistic animal figurines, play food, etc. Hubby was excited when he saw you could borrow a parachute. We seriously considered getting a beach ball and recreating the best elementary school PE day.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This program is similar to storytime but there is also a hands-on activity to encourage the minds of our tiny scientists.
5. Music time.
Children sing songs and play along with tambourines, maracas, drums, and more.
6. Play dates.
Intimidated to initiate play dates with other moms? Let the library do it for you! Our library offers open hours and provides the toys. All you’ve got to do is show up.
There are also countless activities for adults. Let Dad or Grandma take the kids for a couple of hours and sign up for a workshop, book club, concert, or film viewing.