I plop a heavy bag of books from the library down on the counter. My kids immediately start pulling out ones they want me to read and discussing in completely non-indoor voices what they’re most excited about in the pile.
Soon they are settled on the floor of the kitchen – because who has time to move to a comfortable place like a couch when you have new books to read – surrounded by books they are quietly paging through one at a time.
This. This is why I lug the heavy bag to and from the library each week.
I hear a lot from moms a variety of reasons that they don’t use the library. When they starting listing their reasons I totally get it. The most common:
- My kids pull all the books off the shelves if I try to look for books.
- I can never find what I want.
- I just don’t have time.
These make sense but I can’t imagine our life without the library.
Even better – I have the solution to these issues!
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Libraries Rock Because…
- They are FREE.
- They are open regardless of weather which makes it an option any day you just HAVE to get out of the house.
- Many have a play area for young kids that provide a change of scenery, different toys, and hopefully another kid or two to practice those important social skills with.
- Story times! This is a great way for your little ones to practice participating in a group experience. It’s also a great chance for you to meet some other moms.
- Friendly librarians. Children’s librarians are some of my favorite people. They are super nice, obsessed with kids books (just like me) and often eager to help you find a good book on a huge range of topics.
But what about my toddler pulling books off the shelf?
What about the fact that I can never find the books I want when I go?
What about my limited time? I just don’t have time in my week to dig around in endless bins and shelves for books my kids might like.
I hear you. But here’s the secret: Request Books.
That’s the secret?
Yes! Here’s all you need to do:
- Take a list of children’s books (like one of these) or an author’s name (like one from this month’s a Read a Day challenge) or that book you recently saw posted on Instagram.
- Log In to your library’s site and find the search window (you do need a library card first!)
- Type in the name of the book or author and select your library for the book to be picked up.
- When the book arrives it will be put on a holds shelf for you to pick up and you will usually get an email that it has arrived.
- Repeat as needed. Libraries usually have a limit on the number you can put on hold. I’ve seen anywhere between 10-30. Right now I usually do 9 for my twins and 1 for me.
- Then when you go in, grab your stack of books, check them out and carry them home.
No unattended toddler while you hunt for titles.
No searching for books that are probably checked out.
No wasting time.
You get a stack of books you want to read in about 5 minutes with no stress.
So what then?
Then you can wander the shelves with your kiddo.
You can sit and read together.
You can watch them play and rest for a moment.
You can chat with other moms. It’s up to you if you share your clever secret or not.
It’s super easy peasy now that you know how I get all those books I want 😉