Want to make your library visits more successful? Here are tried-and-true guidelines for a visit that results in lots of reading and warm fuzzies.
My Suggested Children’s Library Guidelines
1. One backpack or reusable bag per child. Allow him to fill it up, choosing the books that interest him. As long as she can carry it, she can fill it in my home. Believe me, they can’t wait to get home and get to read their NEW books!
2. Let the child check out his own books. Self-checkouts are becoming more common with budget cuts. Most little children will need an assistant (you) to help.
3. Decide before you go how many movies you’ll allow.
4. Facilitate some good book choices. Suggest some books you think your child might enjoy or show her a new section — maybe the graphic novels, or the non-fiction craft section.
5. Make the library visit as fun as possible. We like to eat cookies and read our books after a visit for extra library fun!
6. Keep the library books in one place when you return home.
7. Try to visit the library regularly –weekly or bi-weekly to minimize fines either by returning or renewing. (But, expect some to happen. I like to think of it as helping buy new books for my library.)
8. Get comfortable on the library website! When you have kids, browsing books at the library is pretty much impossible unless your child is asleep in a car seat. My solution? To use the library website and put books I want on hold. Then, I can just go to the hold shelf and pick up my books in seconds while my kids wait. It’s a wonderful service! I get ideas from Goodreads, Bookmarks Magazine, the newspaper, magazines, book blogs, and friends.
P.S. You can renew books online, too!
What Age is Good for a Library Card?
If you want your child to be a reader, get him or her a library card.
Of their own.
And use it every week.
A library card equals reading independence! It’s empowering!
Personally, I found that four years and older works well.
What about you?
When I first got my daughters’ library cards, it was because I maxed out my own card. But, it was all good; good for me and them. So it all worked out, right?
originally published 2011, updated 2022
Go to this post to read the best children’s books about the library.