Choosing the Right Books: Going to the Library
Using your neighborhood library is a terrific way to kindle your children’s interest in books and reading. Libraries provide many resources to help engage children in reading, such as story time sessions, reading lists by age and topic categories, or a reading area designated for young children. In addition, watching other children read and choose books helps reinforce a positive attitude in your children toward books.
Going to the library can also serve as a great opportunity to bond with your children. Reading books together helps build closeness with caregivers, provides children with an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned, and gives them access to new information.
Remember to let your children choose their own books. Choosing books allows children to feel as if they have control over some areas of their lives and builds self-confidence in their ability to make choices. It also helps foster a love of reading and books, often a predictor of future academic success. Something as simple as reading a book with children can foster their growth and help them engage in healthy behaviors through adulthood.
Below is an activity that will make your library visit even more exciting and focused. Take the form with you to the library and help your children record their visit.
Before heading to the library, help motivate your children to learn more about a certain subject, such as an issue they are facing or a topic they are interested in. You can also recommend that they read the book version of a movie they just watched. Having discussions about possible book choices can help your children narrow down their selection while at the library. Also, do not forget to discuss the guidelines for appropriate behavior while in the library. Suggestions on library etiquette are provided in the box below.
BEFORE YOU GO
Ask your children what they would like to learn more about. Write down the answers in large clear letters on a short list. Take the list with you to the library.
Review library etiquette: Persons in a library should not make loud noises (including talking above a whisper), run around, eat food or drink beverages, write in books, or tear pages.
Let your children help you fill out the form below. Ask them what they saw, what they heard, and what they read while they were in the library. Remember: Carry the list of topics that your children expressed interest in before you came to the library. Help them look for books that match the items on the list, and write the book selections on the form.
IN THE LIBRARY
I saw: ___________________________________________________________
I heard: _________________________________________________________
I read: __________________________________________________________
I found these books from my list: _____________________________________
After you come home from the library, let your children choose the book they would like to read first. Remember to listen to your children and allow them to recite their favorite part of the story, choose their favorite pictures, and discuss certain situations from the books. Record this information in the form below.
It is also important to encourage your children to keep track of when books are due back to the library by getting a printout of the books checked out and their due dates. You can post this information in a central place in your home and even have your children help you mark the due dates on a calendar.
Remember to enjoy the bonding time with your children and set a date for your next library visit!
AFTER THE VISIT
Books borrowed: : _____________________________________________
Favorite story: ________________________________________________
Favorite pictures: ______________________________________________
Books for next visit: ____________________________________________