I grew up in the library. No, really. We lived mere blocks away from the library. Close enough to walk, but even better for bike riding. We had our "secret spot" around the back of the library where we would park our bikes because we never had chains. We thought that no one would have the gall to pull our bikes out from behind the bushes in the BACK of the library. And, well, we were right.
We probably drove the librarians crazy. I remember sitting in the farthest back corner flipping through the children's encyclopedia and commenting on all of the entries. We would haunt the study rooms when they were empty and play house or school or what ever else we felt like.
We checked out bags full of books. In fact, it became a habit to ride to the library with a grocery bag so that I could carry home all of the books that I had checked out. I read a ridiculous amount of books as a child. I'm pretty sure that I went through the entire YA section of my library. And every year in the family Christmas letter I was outed by my mother: Rachel loves to read and spend time with the cat. (Seriously, like 3 years in a row. Oh well. I have a rockin' vocabulary. See? I am a geek.)
It kind of makes me sad that we don't live anywhere near close enough to a library for my kids to walk or ride their bikes. And while I am perfectly capable of taking my kids to the library, and do, it just seems a shame. All of my favorite library memories occurred without parent supervision.
Anyway, here is a quick list why you need to make the library your number one spot to visit:
1. I'm including this, but it's so obvious, it's almost embarrassing. There are so many more books in that library than you could ever read. Expose your children, and yourself, to different genres, especially non fiction. Biographies are the best. If you're kids are interested in hiking, read up on mountains and trails. Cooking? Do you know how many cookbooks your library has?
2. Movies. All kinds of movies. The library is what Blockbuster used to be. Except free! Sure, there is Redbox and Netflix, but what if you want your kids to see The Sandlot, but you don't own it, it's not on Netflix and it is definitely not at Redbox. The library! Chances are there is a copy floating around out there somewhere, you just need to put it on hold. Then, you can enjoy your kids quoting Sandlot FOR-EV-ER.
3. Storytime. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, check out your local story time. Meet up with your friends for play group at story time. Most libraries do them a few times a week at different times and there is usually singing and crafts along with the books. We love story time.
4. Events. Check out your library events calendar. Ours holds family events regularly. Things like puppet shows, magic shows, lego displays. All kinds of fun stuff.
Libraries are amazing places. Check out yours as soon as you get a chance.