Libraries Are Awesome!
I didn’t hit full stride with raising my first child until I started going to the library. Everywhere else was hit-or-miss. If I went to the mall, the park, or a local playgroup, I usually felt alone with my child because there was no one who wanted to talk to the only dad and his baby. Yes, my own shyness was a factor as well. Then I “rediscovered” libraries, and all of the sudden, I didn’t have to worry about being shy anymore.
There were books. Lot of books. I didn’t have to care about how I, the newbie dad, looked to others; all that mattered was the neatly stacked galaxies’ worth of books that surrounded my child and I. The tools to be an awesome parent towered all around us, beckoning to be read. But those were just the gateway to the sheer awesomeness of libraries.
If you don’t take your children to the local library… start now. Here’s why:
1.) The books. Did I mention the books? And what do we get from them in the first, formidable years of our children’s lives? Nothing less than joy, that’s what. Also, I love the fact that you can find so darned much about your kid’s personality just from the books that he likes. If your child doesn’t like books, then keep looking for the right books. At the library.
2.) Story time. Children’s librarians get credit, in my opinion, for being people who absolutely care about doing their job. They, after all, are tasked with making children understand the necessity of the written word. We never went to a bad story time. I just wish we could have gone to more.
3.) Silence. Perhaps taking your child to a place where they should be quiet isn’t ideal for those who don’t know how to be quiet yet. But wait until the time you can take children who love to sit and read quietly. Golden.
4.) Videos. Usually my kids are allowed to take one DVD home in addition to the books they pick out. The video shelves usually also serve as a good reminder that there are tons of educational videos available. Oh, yeah, and did I mention…
5.) Free. Enjoy.
6.) Friends. Libraries are a great place to meet other parents with similar-aged kids.
7.) Programs & events. This summer, my kids got free baseball tickets for reading, laughed riotously at ten tiny tricky dogs, got to wear their pajamas to the library for story time, and more. Take that, Chuck E. Whoever.
8.) Music. Some of my kids favorite bands were “discovered” at the library. We never had cable TV, so Milkshake, The Laurie Berkner Band and others were all new to us, and we’re still spinning them in our CD players.
9.) Intelligentsia. Just waling into a library makes your kids smarter. Don’t believe me? Go to the library and look it up.
Did I mention the books?
Oh yeah, and check out some Librarian Blogs (by parents!)