My boys know what a library is and they have visited one in school and with their respective classes but I myself had never taken them until very recently. Shocked? Well, I never took them because, despite what many may think about the children of teachers, not all of them are as studious as we would like. I know for a fact that my oldest isn’t and I didn’t want to pressure him into going before he was ready and wanting to go. We have a library at home and it’s only once in a blue moon that I catch him reading a book on his own. When he catches me reading he says, “reading again?” with a suspicious look. I don’t want him to think that I am always up to something and forcing him to read.
We have a library at home because I collect books. It’s one of my hobbies. I’ve been collecting literature since high school. It’s not a small library either. I mean rows of books including biographies, non-fiction, fiction, picture books and poems. Despite this, as I said earlier, it’s a VERY rare occasion when I find my oldest reading. My youngest is becoming the same way although when I tell him to get a book to read, he’ll do it without hesitation! Again, I never want them to feel forced!
Taking them to the library took a lot of advanced planning. I knew I wanted them to get their own cards and I also knew I wanted to take them early in the day so my oldest wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a crowd. I wanted him to get to go into the library and explore without stress or pressure. He was able to walk around and just marvel at the shelves of books surrounding him. He immediately went to the science project section and wanted to find out more information there. I also caught him reading a book about the rain forest and his smile was indescribable. He looked so happy and comfortable just sitting at the table and reading. My youngest enjoyed going over to the children’s section and finding books at his reading level. We have age appropriate books at home but I guess this was a different experience.
They were able to sign for their cards and take ownership which was great for them. I modeled to them how we check out, the new and improved electronic way, of course, and we were on our way. Tonight before my oldest went to bed he said, “thanks for taking me to the library Mami. It was so peaceful.” I felt the same exact way. My fondest memories from my childhood into my college days were the serene feeling of the library. I felt as if I were surrounded by knowledge and I just loved it. Today, I was grateful that I was able to experience that memory made new with my boys. I look forward to creating a tradition with them of us going to the library together. I also hope that someday they will pass this joy, as simple as going to the library, on to their own children.