Thursday, January 7, 2010
If you like to read, and you like to use your local library, but you have kids in tow and finding anything other than something in the children's department is difficult, than this post is for you. A few years back I was taking are of a little guy who was just six week older than my daughter and about once a month we would visit the library. We loved our trips to the library, picking out new books, reading on the big ABC rug, sitting in the little red chairs, it was lots of fun. But one of the things I could never do was find specific books I wanted to read to the kids. Not because the library was unorganized or because it was not checked in. But because my two little toddlers didn't have the patience to stand quietly and watch me sift through shelves of books looking for the right one! When ever I tried to attempt to find a specific book I spent more time chasing kids down the isle.
Let me pause here and say, if you have never read Honey for a Child's Heart by G. Hunt you need to add this book to your reading list and then you will understand why I had such a long reading list for my kiddies. After reading this book I got very particular about reading literature to children. In the words of Charlotte Mason, I was cutting out the "twaddle" and going only for the high quality books. I really do believe this is important for children to have in their lives. I do not like books that do not tell a good story, advertise (such as Nickelodeon cartoons), or have propaganda (environmental guilt is just not necessary for toddlers!). So all of this led me to have a specific book list.
OK finally to the tip. Most libraries have an online "hold" system. You can find your books, and then put them on hold. This is a really really nice service because you can do the whole, read on the ABC rug and sit in the little red chairs. BUT when you are done you walk up front and just pick up your books. The nice thing about this option is that you can also put books on hold for yourself. This was the nicest treat for me, I love to read a novel once in a while and with child in arms I cannot stand in the adult fiction section just looking at all the books. One of the things I do is visit the NPR book lists and read the reviews on different books and then put the ones that look good to me on hold. Using the library has become a whole new pleasure in our lives.
Another suggestion is that if you have long distance grandparents you can put the same childrens' books on hold at their library and then once you both have them in hand let Grandma or Grandpa read the same book to your kids over the phone. This give kids and grandparents something to "do" together. Especially for little children who don't have a lot to say or get shy on the phone.