With the abundance of online shopping, E-books and the Internet, a lot of people that used to go to the library, don’t anymore.
As an avid reader, I remember the first time I was able to check out my own book. I was about five years old when I was given my first library card. I scribbled my name on the back and handed it to the librarian with a huge smile on my face.
Back then, there weren’t any electronic books you could rent or buy from your phone, tablet or computer. You had to go to the library or a bookstore and get the books you wanted. If you wanted to look something up online, you had to get on the computer (if you were lucky enough to have a computer) and dial up the internet or head to the local library and use theirs.
I feel like because I went to the library so much, especially as a child, I love reading as an adult – and that is why many libraries in the U.S. have started participating in Take Your Child to the Library Day.
Curious what this event is all about?
We reached out to Amy Howes, Head of Youth and Teen Services at the Royal Oak Public Library to get her opinion on Take Your Child to the Library Day, along with information on ROPL’s own event, which is happening on February 1, 2020.
What is Take Your Child to the Library Day?
2020 is ROPL’s first year celebrating the event, and they hope it continues beyond this year.
“The idea was launched in 2011 (in Connecticut), but it wasn’t until 2012 that the first event was held,” says Howes, adding the idea for an event at ROPL was started by their director, Emily Dumas.
“The initiative is to encourage families to take their children to the local library,” she says. “To encourage reading and to get (kids) a library card if they are old enough, which usually depends on their library’s policy.”
ROPL’s event will also offer different crafts, activities and giveaways for families to take part in.
“We are going to have a few tables with free things, like bookbags and bookmarks,” says Howes. “There will be a scavenger hunt and craft activities, tying it in with the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten party.”
“The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is another national reading initiative that’s free, to encourage reading,” she says. “The goal for it creates an opportunity for bonding with parents and creates a lifelong reader and the goal of that is 1000 books before kindergarten.”
Why it’s important
With Take Your Child to the Library Day on the horizon, the ROPL, along with other libraries across the U.S., hope that parents, caregivers and children can see all that their library has to offer and continue coming to use their resources.
“It’s relevant because there’s nothing else in the community that has what the library has to offer,” says Howes. “It’s a wealth of services, programs and information that are free to the community.”
She adds that the event is also a bonding experience between parent and child.
“It’s fun to come to the library because the child gets to be start expanding their world in a safe way and comes to experience the bigger world in baby steps with their caregiver,” she says. And because most libraries have play areas for kids where they can dress up, build things, create things and use their imagination in different ways.
“They’re able to touch the books and toys, read or play with their parent or caregiver and check materials out,” says Howes. “It’s comforting, safe and stimulating (…) we offer programs nearly daily for parents, kids and babies. All kinds of things that are entertaining, educational and expands their world with their families.”
Bring your kids to Royal Oak Public Library on February 1, 2020, to celebrate Take Your Child to the Library Day, enjoy everything the library has to offer and get a jump start on reading! Check with your local library for details on their event.