We visit the library a lot (I know this comes as a giant shock to you). Since Ella was super tiny, we’ve gone at least once a week, and often twice.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better at corralling my children, making it a fun excursion for everyone, and being sure we take home decent books.
Here are some of the things that work for us.
tips for visiting the library with kids
1. Put books on hold. One of the questions I get asked most is “how do you find good books at the library.” I wrote a whole post about the resources I use to find book recommendations and I place holds for anything I’m interested in. I don’t love browsing through the stacks and I’d much rather be assured we’ll be able to pick up at least a handful of books I’m interested in every week.
5. Start when they are young. If you’re reading this and have a five-year-old, I know this is really annoying advice. But early exposure I think helps with them knowing how to behave and picking out and returning books is just part of their routine. Plus, a librarian who has known your child since they were six weeks old? Priceless. When we visited Texas in December, we stopped by the library and saw the librarian who did baby time for Ella and has loved her ever since (and Ella thinks she is the best person on earth).
6. Explore non-book items. I’m always amazed at what different libraries have available to check out. Our current one has lots of puzzles, books with CDs, music CDs (which we listen to in the car a lot), movies, and take-home crafts. In Texas, Ella checked out a new puppet every week (while I tried not to think about the germs associated with plush puppets that had been circulating for a decade). Some libraries have cake pans or games or book club kits.I’d love to hear what works for you when you go to the library too!