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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why We Go to the Library

Yes, I have posted about My Littler Reader's and my trips to the library several times in the past here and here and here. I guess I am just always fascinated (sometimes baffled) by the library and what goes on there.

I must admit, My Little Reader and I are just now getting into a regular library visiting habit. The fact that he's now getting to be old enough to have more of an understanding of, and appreciation for what happens there has served as a motivating factor for me.

This week I was a bit shocked on our visit to one of our local library branches. Isaac and I walked into the children's room (one of only two rooms in this small branch) to find three (or four?) moms sitting around a table chatting while their half a dozen kids (or so) ran around the small carpeted area in the middle of the room yelling and screaming and chasing one another around. There was no correction from their moms, no hushes or attempts to calm them down at all; the moms didn't even seem fazed by it.

I was so frustrated by this. Rightly so or not? There were so many things about this scene that frustrated me. A few:
  • These mothers seemed to be using the library as a playroom for their kids to romp around in with no direction (or supervision it seemed), so they could socialize.
  • I don't know what was more rude, the loud obnoxious kids, or the loud obnoxious parents.
  • How sad to see these moms at the library with their kids, but not actually sharing the experience with their kids, or helping to guide and enhance the experience for their children.
  • My son is 2 yrs. old and of course wanted to join in on the chaos that he was witnessing. Ugh! Now I have to deprogram him. (He did calm down once these families cleared out and headed home.)
  • The chaos in the children's room made it nearly impossible to browse for books. We had to kind of hang back till they left.
No I didn't complain to the library staff. Perhaps I should have. Or perhaps I had my panties in too big of a bunch over it all? I don't know. But it got me thinking about what I want for Isaac and me when we visit the library. Why do we go to the library?

  • To borrow books, of course. A variety of reading materials!
  • To hear stories. (Sometimes we make it to story time.)
  • To show Isaac the joy of discovering new books. (Look at all these books!)
  • To help develop new interests in Isaac. (What fun new things can we read about?)
  • To foster his interests that are already present. (Right now he's loving Dolphins!)
  • To have a good time. (Getting out of the house is always fun!)
  • To learn how the library works. (What's the library for, how to find what you're looking for at the library, etc.)

From what I saw this week at the library, I guess this is not why every family visits the library.

So please use the comments section to tell me why YOU visit the library with your child(ren). Please!

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