When most of the things that entertain young minds seem to be digital, virtual and scarcely believable, it might seem quaint to suggest your local library as another way to keep your kids amused. But your library can be a wonderful source of entertainment and education, far beyond the printed word, and much more engaging and beneficial than any video game. It’s time you took the kids to your library and explored everything it has to offer. Chances are, your library is a much underutilised education and entertainment resource.
You’re probably a member of the library, and many of the books you borrow are for your children. That’s a good start as you begin to rediscover your library because it means you’re all regular visitors. And regular visitors are more likely to keep up to date with all that is new at the library, including upcoming events.
An Entertainment Hub
Upcoming events, you say? Why not? Modern libraries are fast becoming boutique entertainment venues, hosting all sorts of event from author readings for all ages, poetry and music recitals, even theatre groups. Around school holiday time, much of this entertainment is targeted towards a younger audience. On one of your frequent visits to the library, be sure to ask a librarian what events are coming up.
While we’re on the subject of school holidays, may libraries now run holiday programmes. Most of the activities are interactive and free, involving arts, crafts,and story time, usually featuring dramatic re-enactments from the kids themselves. As holiday time draws closer, stay in touch with the library and put their programme details into your kids school holiday schedule. It just gives you another option as you attempt to beat the holiday boredom blues.
It’s Still About The Reading
Encouraging a love of reading, and books is still the primary aim of any library. The way they do that has changed, however. Many libraries now offer dedicated spaces for young children to browse books, interact with other young visitors, play games and enjoy readings from authors or librarians.
The librarians of today do far more than stamp books and ensure all is quiet. Their role in looking after younger readers involves becoming entertainers while they host story time, be it during school holidays or any other time of the year. A love of reading and books from a young age can be stimulated by an engaging recital of a story. Librarians, once falsely maligned for being stuffy figures, are enthusiastic and passionate advocates for the joys of reading, and they personify just how much libraries have changed in recent years. They’re fun, not forbidding.
Check Out The Changes
How much has your library changed? Are you aware of what they do beyond issuing books? The next time you and your children visit the library, do more than scan the shelves. Look for Kids Spaces, and activities for young readers. And, most important of all, get to know the librarians.
Librarians are very handy people to know when the kids need a special book to help with a school assignment. They can recommend suitable books for learner readers. They can keep you all up to date with upcoming events at the library, especially ones designed to entertain and educate kids. Last, but not least, a librarian’s passion for books, and love of reading, is contagious. Let all that enthusiasm rub off on your children as you encourage them to read. With all this in mind, it really is time you revisited and rediscovered your local library!