More reasons why you should bring your child to your local library:
4. Freedom and imagination
Bringing your small child to the library will help to create a love of all things books and imagination – a wondrous gift you can give them that will help them in their lives to come. Neil Gaiman says,”…libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication.” That is what you are exposing your child to when you bring them to the library. They can read about absolutely anything they can imagine – they just have to imagine. Letting your child choose their own books and get them out on their own library card is a great way to encourage freedom in their lives.
5. More than just books…
Libraries are home to a huge variety of items that you can borrow – books, tapes, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, games, magazines…and generally children’s items are all completely free, or the charges are minimal. Libraries run fun school holiday programs too, with workshops and activities to keep your kids engaged, so make sure you ask your library about those. Well-equipped libraries may also give your child access to technology they don’t have at home. Got a tech-hungry child? As they get older, ask at your library if they might be able to access things like iPads, Cubelets, Makey Makey, coding and other STEM-related items and activities.
6. Teaches responsibility
Of course mishaps can occur, like losing a book or damaging one – but that is a great teaching tool for the young ones to learn responsibility, as there are consequences for that. Taking care of the precious library books while you have them at home is part and parcel of borrowing them in the first place. It’s also wonderful that your child has their own library card – it’s exciting to hand the card over to the librarian at the desk, and it’s very exciting to figure out the self-checkout machines – giving them a sense of autonomy and responsibility.
So whether you’ve got a new baby, a toddler or school-age child, heading down to the library on a regular basis will set them up for greatness. Supporting our local libraries is crucial these days – they are one of the last truly free spaces in our communities, not privately or corporately owned. Where everyone is equal, and the imagination can be stimulated. Where communication skills can be developed, connections created and fostered, and freedom found.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.