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.
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.
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.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.