Search & Win

Friday, April 19, 2013

I love my library because...

It is National Library Week (April 14-20, 2013.) The Idaho Falls Public Library has been celebrating all month with contests, prizes and activities. They are holding an essay contest on 'why I love my library.' My children are sitting at the table busily writing their essays in hopes of winning a $25 gift certificate.

All of this is causing me to reflect on why I love the library.

Since moving to Idaho Falls we have been very involved in the library community. Oran, Skyler and I attended a children's class for "early readers." It was a six week class that we attended on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We heard stories, did art projects and got to bring home (and keep) books, CDs, and games that went along with things we had talked about in the class.

We've attended "parties" and "activities" as well as story time and free community classes.

Ryan and I had the privilege of completing the "Love and Logic" parenting classes at the library. We attended weekly classes for 6 weeks and really enjoyed the teachers as well as the things we were able to learn.

I feel that libraries are an essential public good. People need a place to go where they can learn, grow, develop new skills and have new experiences. It seems like prices of everything continues to climb. Admission to museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and theaters are sky rocketing. For a family of 7, like mine, the thought of buying so many tickets to an event or exhibit is painful.

Public libraries are free, non-commercial, gathering places that are open to everyone, regardless of income. People of all ages can gather together to use computers, read books, and attend classes. The library is where education continues after school ends. It's where readers are grown from the time they are young and where doors are open to welcome everyone.
If knowledge is power, than the library is a substation, buzzing with electricity, with the books just sitting on the shelves waiting to light up our minds.

I have been able to read countless books over the past year and a half. I love the ability I have to search the library catalog from the comfort of my own home and request books that I would like to read. It is so nice to see the books I have requested with my name on them, patiently waiting to be picked up.

Books are an expensive commodity, and if I had not been able to borrow books from the library, free of charge, there is no way that I could have fed my love for the written word over the course of my lifetime. 

We have read several books together as a family. I love instilling in my children a love for books and feel a little thrill whenever they would rather read another chapter in our current story than watch a movie. Every story opens a window into a new world. We have enjoyed visiting all of these strange new places contained in the pages of  the books found on the shelves at our local library.
We also have a love for the ever expanding DVD collection at the Idaho Falls public library. We can check out up to 10 movies a week, and if we bring them back on time, it is completely free of charge. That's way better than Redbox or Netfix!

Another reason I love the DVDs, although it's a bit of a love/hate relationship, is that they can only be checked out for a week and cannot be renewed from home (like other library materials.) This fact alone keeps us returning to the library at least once a week.

I love being on a first name basis with so many of the librarians. Yesterday "Miss Kim" greeted my children by name. It brought warmth to my heart knowing that my children felt important and welcomed at the library. Jamayla, another librarian, knows to expect us on Thursday afternoons and often sets aside a few books that she thinks my boys would enjoy.

Although Idaho Falls is not necessarily a small town, being involved at the library, for me, has given it more of a "small town" feel. Because of the library I feel involved in and connected to my community, and I love it!


Lisa said...

What an awesome article! You made me reflect on why I love the library too! Question- what books do you read as a family? And how do you make it work? PS- let me know if you can't reply to my comment!

Caranna said...

Lisa, I've read several books while dancing with a baby (book in one hand, baby in the other.)
As a family we just finished "Nightmare Academy" by Dean Lorey and have requested the second book in the series.
We've read all 20 of the books in "The Dragon Slayer's Academy" series by Kate McMullan. My kids loved those.
We've read the entire "Fablehaven" series, by Brandon Mull, the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series by Rick Riordan, as well as the "Heroes of Olympus" series, also by Rick Riordan.
We've read "Harry Potter," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Alice in Wonderland," "The Wizard of Oz." I could go on and on!
I also keep feeding them a steady diet of picture books, although my oldest claims that they are for "babies."
I have some favorites that I've kept to myself, if you're looking for something read. I loved the "Tunnels" series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. Also the "Lorien Legacies" books by Pittacus Lore - but I just finished the third one and it's a bit of a cliff hanger, the next book doesn't come out until August!
Right now I'm reading "The Serpent's Shadow" it's the third book in "The Kane Chronicles" series by Rick Riordan. They are pretty good, but they are about Egyptian mythology and I don't love it as much as I did his Greek and Roman stuff.
ANYWAY, yeah, we like to read at our house. ;)

Caranna said...

Oh, and the "Inkheart" trilogy by Cornelia Funke - those are SO good! I also really liked the "City of Ember" books. There are 4 of them, but I could have skipped the third, (not nearly as good as the other 3.)