I love to read and public libraries hold a special place in my heart. I remember going to libraries as a child feeling so proud that I got to select any book I wanted. The first time I toured a college, it was the library that pulled me in. I was in awe of its size and calmness. My husband and I were even married in a library! My children enjoy library outings so, when we moved to Scottsdale, checking out the libraries and their events became a popular outing for us. If you haven’t visited your local Scottsdale Public Library with your children you should; here’s why.
1. Free Books and More: Obviously, books is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word library, but Scottsdale Public Library also offers music, magazines, movies and more. Cruising the shelves of books with your children is so much fun, but sometimes it doesn’t fit in the weekly schedule. Did you know that you have access to free downloadables? You can download free eBooks, audio-books, music, movies, magazines and newspapers. TumbleBooks is available and features online, animated, talking electronic picture books for kids. And all of this is free and accessible with your library card.
2. Child Friendly: Scottsdale Public Libraries have child friendly areas that include toys, reading nooks, coloring stations and other hands on activities where children can be themselves while engaging with books. Also, the librarians are helpful, kind, and inviting. They offer great advice on selecting books and have knowledge about books I’ve never even heard about.
3. Free Programs and Classes: There are a variety of daily Early Learning Programs for children 0-5 at each branch that include classes such as family story time and “Books to Boogie” that are open to the public. They also offer Knowing and Growing Programs that are six week courses which meet once a week and focus on things like math and science. Space is limited for these programs and you must register to attend. As your children get older they offer tutoring, reading buddies, and events for teens that include poetry slams and guitar club.
4. Teachable Moments: Going to the library is a great way to discuss and practice with your children how to use quiet voices, respect the environment they’re in, and take care of items that don’t belong to them. We’ve discussed it’s their responsibility to return the books the way they got it because it’s something that is shared with everyone in our community and it’s important that other children are able to read these books too. My children feel proud when they check out books and my oldest will remind me when it’s time to return them.
5. Encourages a Love of Reading: The fun atmosphere at Scottsdale Public Library Branches and variety of exposure/interaction with books helps creates positive connections with reading. Also, having access to more books than you can afford or store, allows children to select books that fit their interests, reading levels, and even just try out books they otherwise wouldn’t. They love finding the “perfect” books for themselves and my daughters especially enjoyed selecting a book for their book club meeting.
FYI: Summer Break is a great time to visit the Scottsdale Public Library
You can beat the heat during our summers while your children maintain and improve language skills which helps decrease the chance of summer slide– a decline in their reading level. The library offers a Summer Reading Program for all ages that runs from June 1-August 1, 2017. The program encourages consistent reading through the summer because participants earn points that go toward badges, prizes and a book. There are activities offered at each branch to earn even more points. During the summer, Scottsdale Public Library has a Teen Volunteer Program to earn class credit and gain experience working with the public.