I love using the local library. Both of my big kids have their own library cards, and we like nothing more than to pop in after school pickup and pick up books, colouring-in sheets, flyers about what’s going on during school holidays, and more. There are puzzles, storytimes, Lego building sessions, and heaps of colourful displays to catch our attention.
Last week there was a whole exhibit of Dummies guides. (You know, the yellow-covered paperbacks with titles like Meditation for Dummies. I now wish I had borrowed that particular title.)
Miss 11 is into graphic novels and manga, and has only just discovered the joy of ordering books through inter-library loan. She practically rubbed her hands together in calculated glee (think Mr Burns from The Simpsons) when she found out she could just order the whole series of whatever her latest obsession is, and wait for the titles to roll in. No more scouring the shelves for her, oh, no! She immediately plugged her wish list into the computer while the librarian looked on, a slightly worried expression on her face. I’m not sure the inter-library loan system is going to survive Miss 11.
Master Five just wants books on dogs at the moment. He’s not yet got the hang of looking through the books on the shelves in the children’s section, and simply grabs the ones where he can see the covers. He hits the kids’ area like a whirlwind, with a specific agenda: First, disassemble all the puzzles. Second, put back together all the puzzles. Third, grab five books from the shelves and bring them to me with immediate demands that I read them. Fourth, decide it’s time to go, randomly and in the middle of a sentence. When I take Master Five to the library, I have to be prepared. He attacks the library with a single-minded joy I’ve only otherwise seen him apply to eating ice cream.
I, myself, prefer both ordering books via inter-library loan and picking them up from the hold shelves, and fossicking through the stacks to see what I can find. For me, there’s something magical about the library. I can remember spending hours holed up in my university library, studying and reading and dozing in a carrel by the window. I feel at home among books, and I feel at home in the library.
I want my children to feel that way, too. The library opens up worlds beyond our own. How lucky we are to have libraries, and to be able to take advantage of all the wonderful things they offer. I hope you feel this way, too.