{new post} Visiting the library

When I saw this graphic last week, I was horrified...and inspired. I've always been a big reader and continue to spend copious amounts of time at the local library, bookstore or on Amazon seeking out books with and for Elisabeth. Reading is the kind of adventure that can (and should) start early. And what easier way to get going than to head to your local library?

Our local libraries are wonderful places to find new books, yes, but also to take in developmentally appropriate programs for our babies. Elisabeth and I attended Baby Lapsit story time on Wednesday mornings with Miss Amy at the Southwest branch of Durham County Library from about 7 months to almost 2 years. We've only recently stopped going because she wants to be outside. Lapsit story time for babies and toddlers includes finger plays, songs ("Itsy Bitsy Spider", anyone?), one real story and plenty of free playtime. It's really a lot of fun. Library programs are always free and a great way to connect with other new moms.

After your library program is over, head over early and check out a few books before the program begins. There are "regular" kids books but also stacks of board books that may be worn around the edges but are still a great way to add a little variety into your reading routine. Young babies love contrasty colors and simple images so look for some fun black and white board books that will captivate them. Older babies will enjoy the singsongy sentences in even something like _Little Blue Truck_, _Tumble Bumble_ or _Roadwork_. They don't need to "get" the whole story line. Early exposure to language is essential for their future learning and language skills, as this recent NPR piece points out.

As your baby gets older,  let him or her take the lead on the library adventures: returning the books in the dropbox slot, "helping" check the books out, choosing a spot to sit for story time, etc. Of course this also includes them choosing their own books. It's always fun to plop that older baby or toddler down in the book area and watch what they pull off the shelf!

Ever said to yourself, "That book sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out" and then forget to order the book or decide you didn't want to spend the money? I sure do! Your local library can also locate books that they don't own. Inter-library loans are useful for adult books but they also "work" for kids books too. I often "test" books via interlibrary loan before I buy them so I can make sure that I definitely want to spend the money.

So head to the library this week and let me know how it goes. Leave your thoughts on this or pretty much anything below. And thank you for reading.