Monday, June 23, 2014

How Parents of Pre-schoolers get the most from their Free Public Libraries

If you live in the United States, it is almost guaranteed that you have a fantastic public library close by.  We have lived in towns and cities in six different states from Florida to Washington.  In every case, we were able access top rate children's programming and a unique selection of books that enriched our experience.

Here are some hints that will help you make the most of your local library.

1. Plan to get a library card if you do not have one. Typically you will need your drivers license (or identification) and proof of residency.  This information is usually available via a web-site, and some one will always be happy to help you via the phone.

2. Bring a bag to carry your books home.

3. Pick up a schedule of children's programs.  Occasionally this is available on the web, but I have found that the  most accurate information is usually found on a hard copy, even in the 2010's.  Ask if you don't see it, you will almost always get an enthusiastic response.

4.  Find the children's area, the juvenile non-fiction area, and where the alphabet books and math books are.  Pull one book from each area. Librarians live to help you find good books, so do ask them.  

5.  Sit down near the picture books and encourage your child to choose one.  Read it to her.  If she is interested, read her a second, third, whatever you have time for.  When it is time to go, let her choose two books to bring home.  Check out the ones you pulled, and hers.

You may want to skim the book quickly for appropriateness before reading.  Sometimes I close a book in the middle if I don't think it is healthy for our minds.  I think this sets an example of being aware of how our environment effects us. I also sometimes give more limited choices as to which books come home.

6. Check out all your selections, and make a note of the due date on your phone or in your planner.  

We will talk more about using books with your pre-schooler next week. 
If your kids are like mine, they will be excited about their finds. Enjoy!

Click here to see some of the great reads we have found at our local library.

This series is part of my At Home Pre-school Boot Camp. Click here to start at the beginning.

Click here to return to the Week 1 Summary Post.

The post Getting started at your library, by Christy McGuire, first appeared on

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