Library Reading Adventures

The library is a great reading resource for every member of the family. Read on to learn how to introduce your family to the reading possibilities presented by trips to the local library.

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Many children are growing up without utilizing the fabulous resources offered by their local libraries. By creating library days early in a child's life, a parent can help their child grow to appreciate the resources the libraries offer to community members. Libraries also create a reading-friendly environment for a school-aged child who is eager (or not so eager) to learn to read.

Introducing Library Rules

Before you introduce your children to the library, go over some basic library rules. Tell them to use quiet, indoor voices at the library because people are trying to concentrate. Remind them that just because they have to be quiet and respectful does not mean they will be bored and not have any fun.

Also, let your children know the role of librarians; explain that librarians are there to help people find books they might want to read. Tell your children that the librarian will be happy to help them, especially when they are new library patrons.

Parents should also remind children that they do not own the library books. Since others will want to borrow the books after your family has finished using them they will have to treat library books with the utmost care and respect.

Visiting the Library

When you take your children to the library for the first time, introduce them to the librarian. Ask the librarian to review the library's rules and tips for patrons as there may be some pointers and rules that you failed to mention or were unaware of. Additionally, some librarians will give children short tours of the library. This is a great opportunity for your child to get to know the librarian and ask them any questions they have about libraries or books in general. The more comfortable your child becomes with the facility and employees early on, the more they will benefit from all of the services the library has to offer!

Many parents also encourage their children to get their own library cards. This is a wonderful chance for a kid to learn responsibility because they are now accountable for all of the the books that they check out of the library. Remind your child that the books are checked out under his or her name so the librarians will know if the book was well cared for. Kids also love having a card with their name on it and are proud to check out books by themselves; this will make them feel mature and will encourage them to read additional books.

Try to create a family library day at least once a month. By going to the library on a regular basis, you are giving your children more opportunities to read new books. Encourage your child to try reading different types of books and to ask the librarian what they recommend. Most libraries should have children's reading lists. Allow your child to choose a book and you can choose another book for them as well. This lets your youth choose exactly what they want to read, while you introduce them to another type of book that they might never select on their own. However, do not force your child to read the books you pick; if your child does not enjoy the book you selected, allow them to put it aside after making an honest effort at reading it. Forcing a child to read a selection he or she does not enjoy may discourage them from reading.

Using Library Resources

Most libraries offer summer or weekend programs for children. Usually the librarian will read to the children in attendance. Some libraries also incorporate crafts and other fun activities into the day. These special events help children learn that reading truly is fun and doesn't have to be another boring school-type chore. Ask your library if you can be added to their special events list so you and your family can be aware of upcoming activities.

Taking advantage of your local library's resources will pay off for you and your children. The more they use the library and read a variety of books, the more successful and confident they will be in school and in their reading abilities. Taking the family to the library may seem like a big endeavor at first, but over time it can become part of your routine and your children may remind you when it is library time.

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