It’s that time of year again, the time when you can read books and your local library will give you prizes in return. When I was growing up, I waited for summer not only because it meant sunny days and no school, but also because the reading program meant that my family would go on more library trips and I could win a book of my very own at the end. (The other prizes were mostly Oriental Trading goods and not that exciting to me.)
Now that I’m older, I appreciate even more the good work the library does during the summer. Increased reading time has long been associated with higher-level performance in school, but many kids aren’t motivated to read when they don’t have to. Maybe you shouldn’t need a prize to pick up a book, but whatever gets kids excited to read is fine by me. Perhaps they started Harry Potter for a chance to win a free ice cream cone, but they might finish Harry Potter because they loved it.
I also have a new appreciation of all the services the library has to offer. Below are some of the services I intend to take advantage of this summer:
Book and DVD Loans
I can’t afford all the books I want to read and all the movies I want to watch, but thanks to the library I’ll be watching the first season of Grantchester this summer and maybe even starting The Flash.
The library doesn’t always have what I want or need, but they can request books from other libraries!
I can get fifteen books for the price of one new book at the library book sale. And every so often I can also find a DVD I want. This is how I’m slowing building my Studio Ghibli collection.
I no longer have room for all the books I own. If I know I won’t reread a book, I donate it to the library, where they will put it in their collection, use it as a prize for summer reading, or sell it at their book sale. I like knowing my old books are going to a good cause.
My library offers a plethora of online resources, from language-learning programs to family ancestry programs to online courses on anything from photography to cake baking to chemistry. It’s nice to know I can learn a new skill with no cost to me!
From board game nights to community panels to jazz bands, my library offers an abundance of programs to educate and entertain.
What are your library plans this summer?