You and your kids will be happier and more fulfilled than ever the more you take advantage of the public library. If you think of libraries as musty places with nothing but shelves of outdated books, think again!
The library is a vibrant part of most communities where the entire family can find enjoyment, stimulation and peace. Your children will benefit if they think of the library as a regular part of their lives, and you can help them do so.
- Introduce your children to the librarian. Encourage them to ask the librarian for assistance finding books, games, DVDs, and tapes. Let them know that librarians are available to answer questions and help them with homework and research.
- As soon as the library permits, get your child a library card. This provides him with access to the library and also gives him a sense of independence. Celebrate the library card as a mini rite of passage.
- Keep a list of questions youngsters ask that you feel would be best answered with some research. Take the list to the library with you on a regular basis. Encourage kids to add to the list.
- Sign your kids up for summer reading clubs sponsored by the library. Research shows that keeping reading up during the summer improves overall reading skills.
- Investigate after-school activities run by the local library. Encourage children to join homework clubs run by the library.
- Sign your kids up for computer classes at the library. This is particularly helpful if the child has no or limited access to home computers. Ask librarians for help navigating the Web. Today's librarian is an expert on the Internet.
- Take advantage of the large selection of DVDs and tapes most libraries offer, usually for free. Many of these are children's classics.
- Let your child spend time browsing through magazines and periodicals. These may be publications she sees nowhere else but which can spark an interest or answer a question.