The Transforming Power of Our Libraries

I hope you’ve been enjoying National Library Week! I have been enjoying the extra library love circulating the internet this week. (See below for a catalog of my favorite links.)

The week isn’t over yet, so before this is overdue, I thought I would lend my perspective to the collection

This year’s #NationalLibraryWeek tagline is Libraries Transform. Maybe you’ve seen some of the posters at your local library, with the American Library Association’s clever descriptors of why and how libraries transform their communities. For example: libraries transform

I am just one dimension of the diverse population that public libraries serve on a daily basis.  But here’s my top 10 ways that our local libraries are transforming life for our little family:

  1. Because we can’t afford 40 new books per week. And 3 audiobooks. And 4 DVDs. And 2 magazines. And unlimited ebooks. And digital audiobooks.
  2. Because our librarians teach my children social skills. Eye contact. Manners. Conversing with adults. Asking and answering questions. Expressing gratitude. And all within a safe place with consistent, caring adults. For free.
  3. Because we need somewhere new (and free) for play dates. It’s raining again. It’s cold again. It’s too hot for the playground. Ooh, new toys! We’re out of the house! Look, a climbing structure! Look, a bead maze! Look, magnet puzzles! Look, carefully selected, pre-installed children’s educational computer games! For free.
  4. Because my kids’ interests change too quickly to buy that DVD. Remember when we couldn’t get enough of Daniel Tiger? Or sharks? Or the Laurie Berkner Band? Or Baby Signing Time?
  5. Because borrowing books teaches my kids responsibility. Taking turns. Treating other people’s things with gentleness and respect. Putting items in the return bin for our next library trip. Natural consequences when a book gets lost (thanks, Love & Logic).
  6. Because database subscriptions aren’t cheap and navigating the internet with kids is challenging. Thank you, Searchasaurus, Bookflix, and Tumblebooks for saving the day on multiple occasions. For free.
  7. Because our librarians love my kids well. “I have just the book for you!” I saved the toy trash truck for you! I know how much you love it.” “Did you have fun at the concert last week?” “What a great job you did on that craft. I love the colors you chose. Tell me about your drawing.”
  8. Because I had forgotten the words to nursery rhymes. And why they’re important. Even librarians learn from librarians. I’ve been encouraged and challenged as a parent thanks to my early literacy experts, aka librarians.
  9. Because we can’t play parachute with one parent. For free. There’s nothing like parachute time to put a smile on a preschooler’s face. And consequently his mom.
  10. Because my child’s face lights up when I announce “library day”! We ALL love our library. We are so grateful for our Miss Candace, Miss Alia, Miss Kristin, Miss Jasmine, Miss Melissa, Miss Michelle, Miss Laura, and Miss Myrna! (Can you tell we visit during multiple shifts at multiple libraries?!)

My Favorite Library Related Links This Week

Keep reading! And visiting your local library!

Melissalibraries transform


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