5 Ways to Help Your Children Fall in Love with Their Library
Libraries are a wonderful place to be, but our busy lifestyles mean that it can slip away from the ‘to do’ list and before long your library card is gathering dust.
National Libraries Day each year aims to get everyone talking about why they love their local library and most importantly, paying a visit! Visiting the library may already be part of your family routine, but we’ve got 5 tips below to help you make the most out of your visits with little ones:
1. Build up the excitement beforehand
By talking about your trip and doing a few simple things in advance, your little ones will get more even excited about venturing there. Keep a list of books you’d like to borrow (our book lists can provide inspiration) and ask your little ones if there’s a particular type of story or character they’d like to read about. Do a little bit of research and see what kind of books are out there to add to your list. Select a special ‘book bag’ they can carry to and from the library and craft a special holder for their library card. Finally, talk about previous trips you’ve made to the library; this will remind little ones that the library is a fun and familiar place to be!
2. Involve the whole family
If all of the family get involved with a library trip, little ones are bound to enjoy it even more. Talk about books you enjoy or want to look out for on the way there. Once inside, let older children pick books to read to the younger ones. Look through the shelves together to find your next book to share and try reading a chapter or two while you’re there. Make sure everyone gets their own library card to treasure and let little ones take their card and books to the desk. And don’t forget to set a good example by borrowing lots of books yourself. You could even set up a little chart at home to see who borrows the most books!
3. Explore the building
Once you’re in the library, don’t just focus on the books; make them part of a bigger adventure. Explore the building itself; lots of libraries are housed in beautiful old buildings with a fascinating history. Even if your local library is in a brand new building, take the time to appreciate it and encourage your little ones to explore. For older children, you could also enhance the experience by making up your own treasure hunt (e.g. Find a book with a dog on the cover) or leave a note inside your favourite books for other readers to discover and enjoy. Lots of libraries also encourage little ones to submit reviews or drawings related to books they’ve read for display. Ask your Librarian if you can get involved.
4. Engage with events and activities
Have a look at other events and activities which are happening in your local library. You can find out when your next Bookbug Session is, or sign up for Bookbug’s Library Challenge. But it doesn’t have to be all about books either, any fun activities or events will encourage little ones to visit again. These other trips will be another fantastic way to show them just how fun, welcoming and exciting a library can be.
5. Give yourself time
When you enter your library, try not to rush around with the aim of getting out as quickly as possible. Sometimes, a short visit may be all you can manage but if you have the time, make the most of it! Let little ones explore the bookshelves at their own pace and take a look at the displays and recommended books on offer. Chat to the librarians for more recommended reads or just to find out more about more about what’s happening in the library. Above all, cherish this time dedicated to the joys of books and reading. Enjoy the break from your busy routine and make the most of all the unique things your local library has to offer.