We go to the library typically at least twice a month, more if I am able to take the little chicks. Usually it is a Saturday morning, when they have their children’s Read and Glue program-the kids hear story then do a craft related to that story. I love taking the little chicks to the Saturday morning program with their cousin-they get to play with each other, hear a story (and I believe it is important to have multiple people reading to children-people read books differently, and it changes how the story is heard with each reader and listener) and do a craft-one that honestly, I am glad I don’t have to clean up after. I lend my hands to help my leftie littlest chick, and I can relax a bit. They get to pick out and experience all sorts of books. It would be insanely costly to buy enough books for the little chicks to have the experience of a broad reading experience, but the library is free (unless they lose their library cards) and has an incredible selection of books for them to pick through. The library actually spurred the littlest chick to learn to write-she had to be able to write first AND last name before she could get a library card, and she wanted a card of her own. The little chicks are able to find information and books relating to their interests-the bigger chick went through a phase of wanting non-fiction everything, and the librarians helped her find the topic she was looking for, whether it was bats or Minecraft.
The library has a wonderful summer program, during which children can log their hours and compete according to the school they attend, and earn prizes at different levels. I am happy to say that the in the past few years the library summer reading program has broken reading hour records for the children, and the adult summer program has broken their own record already.
Many times a library is the sole resource a community has for access to books outside of school hours. Most libraries provide internet access to library patrons-an important service in an area where not everyone can afford internet service at home when many job applications and other services are most easily accessed over the internet. Our local library has a section for local history so that those performing research can locate all of the information they need easily. Library funding is based, in part, on how many patrons they have and how well their programs are attended. The higher the attendance, the better the funding, and in a time when budgets are being cut, many libraries face the risk of losing funding for programs or for purchasing new materials and books.
How can you help? First, by signing up for a library card and using it. Attending library programs. Going to library sales and purchasing books-those library sales boost the library’s coffers. Donating books to the library if they are in good condition (or buying a brand new book and donating it), or donating money to the library so that they can use it as they need.