Monday, July 25, 2011

The Library

I'm too lazy to look it up, but I am positive I have mentioned, on many occasions, how much I love our local library system.

Our local library branch has been a godsend this summer. When the times/dates of the summer library programs were published I sat down immediately and placed them on our calendar. We've attended story times, craft days, puppet shows, a Ronald McDonald show, live animal demonstrations... Harper's even taken a bubble-ology class which was a great introduction to the scientific process.  We've been at our library two or more times a week every week since June 1st. In addition to all the great programming we've checked out tons of books and a few CDs and DVDs as well. In the past I've laughed about the 50-item limit on my library card, but this summer we've come close to hitting that limit several times.

Harper and Michael have enjoyed tracking their reading for summer reading club - I often hear one of them call to me, "Mom, start your timer!" I've also been reading library books for the adult summer reading club and I feel like I need to remark again on the marvel that is the automated library request system! When I'm chasing the kids around the library I don't always have time to look for my own books. I have as much fun browsing the online catalog as I do browsing at Amazon.com. How great is it to just click a button and a few days later the book I want is sitting on a shelf, waiting for me?  LOVE. I appreciate this service in a whole new way since having children.

Twice in the last couple of years I have submitted requests for books that I was looking to check out, but the library didn't already have. Both times the books were ordered and set aside for me to check out first after they came in and were processed. Now there's some customer service!

Another really wonderful thing about our library right now is that the children's librarian at our branch is on the current Caldecott committee. Once a month she has a special read aloud time when children can explore some of the contenders for the 2012 Caldecott Medal and share their opinions - Miss Pat has assured them that she is taking their feedback into consideration as she prepares to make her recommendations to the committee. So, in a small way, my children can feel like they are a part of this year's selection process - they may not appreciate it now, but it will be really fun to see if the winner is a book that they enjoyed with Miss Pat this year.

I know that not every community has a library system as well supported or active as ours, but if you haven't done so yet, I really encourage you to see what your local library has to offer. As the school year concluded this I was seriously concerned that we'd drive each other crazy this summer and I am not sure I can fully express my gratitude for all the library has given us to do.

In a couple of weeks we'll go to the summer reading wrap-up party. That afternoon my children might earn raffle prizes as a result of the time they spent reading this summer - I know they'd be excited to win, but I also know they've already been rewarded by all the great things our library has to offer.

*****

On another note, we run into friends nearly every time we set foot in the library, so not only does it offer great services, seeing so many people we know there makes me feel more connected to our community as a whole. We don't exactly live in a small town, but this summer our library visits have given me that nice small-town feeling. Now I just have to remember to brush my hair before we visit...

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I was just thinking today about how much I adore our libraries. We live right in between a small-town library that is adorable and quaint and hosts the most wonderful, laid-back story times and kids events, and a very large city library which always had the book I'm looking for, or can get it very quickly. We really have the best of both worlds. I'm always marveling that libraries are free! And I never begrudge a cent of those late fees I occasionally occur. I think it's a very small price to pay!

Jill said...

Any chance you guys had a knights/reniassance theme? It was the theme at the 2 local libraries that I took K to this summer for events. We only went to story time for her, but she's not big enough to read, as much as I would LOVE for her to be. She's so damaging on books still that I don't dare check any out for her, but she listens to the stories there and we read a TON here. I'm still a bit behind on filling in her time card for the one library, but she's easily hit all that time reading, I just didn't get it all put in, you know? Whatever. They get tickets at the one, so I'll need to finish up reading to her and take it in by Wednesday and put them in for her. I'm not sure what they'll have for her age, but probably something. We have a great system here, too, connected to the metro area, so we can get books from all over the place and so on. I decided we should look for popular movies since she's been born the other day and they had most of them on dvd, so I have 6 of them on order that will come in during the next few weeks probably. I get books for my husband, books for me, place a request for books that haven't even come out yet, it's great. Sometimes we have to wait some, but, jeez, others might have been on the regular purchase shelf for a year before I knew about them or thought to look for them, and of course, they're cataloged at the library, so voila, all I have to do is search!

CARRIE said...

I SECOND the love for the automated book request thingie. I do this all the time for the kids because taking the 2 boys in is sheer insanity. Seriously, one day I grabbed one under each arm, yelled to N to "COME ON!" and got the eff outta there. Almost died of embarrassment because they were all being such complete fools.

I do wish our local children's librarians were a bit more jazzy. Basically they have the personality of inch-worms, which is not conducive to engendering a love of literature in children. (If your boring-ness induces them to sleep during story time.)

Alas, life is not perfect.

bluedaisy said...

I just started using the online book request system for our library this summer. It's also cool because if a title isn't at our branch, there are about 10 libraries in a "network" and I can request the book anyway. No extra driving...and YES, no trying to hunt for a book with kids in tow. We've gone every other week on average and it has been great! Glad you guys are getting so much out of your local library :)

Chris said...

The next time you run into us, look at my hair. I mean really look at it. And then, look at my pants, my shirt, even my toenails. Then, you can feel great about yourself!

I love the library, too.

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