Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Raising A Reader Who Loves the Library

photo credit: Radarsmum67 via photopin cc

I had something happen today that I will be writing down in my journal because I don't want to forget it.

I was sitting on the couch with my two youngest children.  We were reading their library books one more time before we returned them to the library.  We were all snuggled together and really enjoying the stories. When we were done, my little ones clutched their books to them and we got in the car.  Right then, their father came home and he said he would take them to the library to return the books so I could have a little window of time to relax without the kids. (I know, he's a total keeper.)

A little while later, I heard the garage door opening, signalling their return.  I was lying on the couch when the door flew open and my little three-year-old burst in, crying.  "I couldn't get a new library book because Daddy didn't have his card," he sobbed.  "And I didn't even get to go in."

"It's okay," I told him.  "We can go look for a new book in your bookcase." I thought that would console him since the bookshelves in his room are overflowing, so the chances of us coming across a new book he hasn't read yet are really good.

"Noooo," he wailed. "I want a library book. From the library."

Now, some of you are probably wondering why I would want to write about a mini-meltdown over a library book.  But, to me, that means I am raising a child who values the library.  I love taking my children there, to touch the books, to feel the ambiance of knowledge, and the experience of me holding them close (while they're small) while they read. I want them to associate reading with enjoyment and love.  Too often, I think we forget about this amazing resource we have in our libraries and instead fill our children with something other than books.  Our world is filled with amazing things we can access from our own homes---movies, internet, TV shows, even electronic books and websites for kids, but I love the experience of a library and want that for my children.  I want them to love all the good things about the library.

And today, with this little exchange between me and my preschooler, I know I'm on the right path.

Do you go to the library?


Debra Erfert said...

You're a good mother, Julie! Your story brought tears, and that's not easy to do, since I'm not an emotional type. I could feel the library's ambiance, probably a latent memory from when I used to go to the library when I was a kid, and when my kids were kids. And while I can't say they were voracious readers, my oldest son was one of my heroes at my online book launch, and I'll never forget his loving words he told the party organizer: he was very proud of his mother. Yes, books have a special place in the hearts of my family.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I really wish I could hug you right now!

What a wonderful moment for you having your son tell the world that. I hope you wrote that in your journal. :)

Debra Erfert said...

I printed that out, and I may tell him I found out he said it-someday.

Mary Walker said...

We went to the library all the time when I was growing up. For a few years our town operated a bookmobile, it was always a good day when the books came to my neighborhood.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

That's awesome Debra. I'm glad you did that.

Mary, you are a lucky girl to have that childhood memory. :)