Need to get the whole family out of the house? Want access to free entertainment? Then take your kids to the library.

Even the most literate families may have the misconception that libraries are dying, but libraries continue to be vibrant, essential community spaces that nurture more than just a love of reading.

Libraries Are Active, Not Passive

Another common misconception—perhaps even more flawed than dying libraries—is that libraries promote a relatively passive activity: reading. However, while books are not sports or jigsaw puzzles, the act of choosing, reading, and talking about a story is active, not passive. Libraries in particular usually have kid-friendly layouts, so they don’t have to rely on a parent’s height to explore their options.

Important Life Lessons and Skills

At the library, kids are learning more than what they read in books. Library culture teaches kids responsibility, self-control, and focus.

Responsibility with Library Cards

Everything at the library is free…unless you forget to bring your borrowed materials back. When a child gets their first library card, they are taking on a big responsibility. They must take care and keep track of borrowed materials until they return them on time. Be sure to discuss these responsibilities before giving your child a library card.

Self-Control in Quiet Settings

Libraries are places to explore and have fun, but there’s also a library etiquette children are expected to follow. While libraries are more lax today than the whisper-only buildings of the 19thcentury, people are expected to stay quiet. Between talking softly and no running, children are taught self-control in a public setting.

Focus During Activies

Reading physical books requires your child to focus, as opposed to digital books or computers, which allow more multitasking. Both are important skills in a child’s developmental growth.

Special Events

Of course, the library isn’t all about learning and self-control. It’s also about fun. In addition to the obvious (promoting the joy of reading), many public libraries host children’s events such as story time readings or themed activities. Talk to your librarian today for upcoming events.

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