I wish I could tell you that, while visiting the public library, I pulled out my newest vampire lit obsession and a secret passageway appeared. I’d really like to tell you I followed that passageway and it led me on an Indiana Jones/National Treasure size adventure, but for now, going out in public with triplet toddlers will have to be adventure enough. What I can tell you about is the treasure trove of entertainment I have discovered at the local library. I’m not promising the holy grail or untold riches, but when your kids start begging to go to the library instead of McDonald’s you might think that’s what you found. So whether it’s to shake off some cabin fever or to see how your library stacks up treasure wise, here’s 13 good reasons to check out your library:
- Video Games- not exactly the anti-screen-time activity you’d expect from the library, but at least the librarians enforce the time limit.
- Movies- I know, more screen time, but when you can check out a movie for free, it makes watching it for the ten thousandth time a tiny bit less painful.
- Audio Books- This one is screen time plus books, my little guys love sitting with those headphones while their favorite books are read and animated.
- CDs- The library’s music collection is a great place to look for new tunes that are simpatico for young and old listeners. And if they turn out to make your ears bleed, there’s always a due date.
- Summer Reading Programs- Organized, legitimized bribery for reading, need I say more.
- Reserve Books- One of my pet peeves is going through all the trouble to brush my teeth and go somewhere only to find they don’t have what I came for. Solution: reserving books. The library makes it super easy to reserve books online, they even tell you when they are being held so you know when it’s worth it to put on shoes.
- Online Goodies- For those days/weeks when getting out of the house is impossible, I turn to the library website. They have great recommendations for apps (oh no, more screen time!), as well as e-books, e-magazines, and e-audiobooks you can check out from your kitchen. You can also access the same audiobooks they have at the library, but without the headphones it’s not nearly as fun for me.
- Storytime- Not only do the librarians read to your kids, but they also sing to them, do little dance moves, pull out puppets, and introduce them to great new books.
- Play Area- You know the saying “the grass is always greener” … well at my house it’s “the toys are always funner” meaning if they’re not ours, they’re more exciting and mom doesn’t have to put them all away (though we always straighten before we leave).
- Outdoor picnic/playspace- Fences are the best friend of moms with lots of littles, it’s a big reason I like the outdoor space at the library. Also, we think of our picnic crumbs as “feeding the birds.”
- Story Bags- If you’re inspired by the library storytime, check out one of these books with accessories to bring the book to life at home.
- Story Kits- These are panacea for cabin fever. Themed boxes with books, games, puzzles, and ideas, they provide days and days of activities.
- Coffee Shop- You could sleep read Goodnight Moon for the millionth time or you could perk things up with more than a bowl of mush at one of the three (Roseville, Central Minneapolis, Ridgedale) local libraries with Dunn Bros Coffee in house.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, library entertainment is free. (Unless, you’re like me and make regular donations in the form of late fees.)
Whether your library is big and heavily visited like mine or quaint and quiet, chances are the shelves hold fun for the kiddos and a little sanity for you.