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?