A note from Jamie: My message in this post is the same as my message in so many posts--to discover what works for you in whichever season of life you find yourself as a mom. I'm not suggesting that anyone boycott libraries or that libraries don't do great work. As I write in the post, I'm a huge fan of their services!
Libraries have always been magical places in my mind. While I didn’t grow up in a home where I was read to regularly, my mom took me to the library every other Monday. Decades later, I still look back on those Mondays as some of my most special memories. Those trips helped to shape me into the book lover I remain today.
Because of these positive memories, I always assumed that regular library trips would be a part of our family’s life, too. Until recently.
When my three kids were younger (ages 4, 3, and 2), our early ventures into libraries resembled herding cattle. There was that one disastrous attempt at storytime (How did all those other parents get their toddlers to sit on the cloth squares?!), but eventually we settled into a routine that worked for all of us.
I found a local library that catered to young kids–with train tables, puzzles, and toys–as well as picture books. The kids could play, bring a book over, read it with me, and toddle away again. And though I had sworn off storytime and structured events, this rhythm saw us happily through a few years. We grew to love our librarians and I like to think they felt the same way about us.
Then we moved. And our lovely library routine fell to pieces.
"I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on,
I go to the library and read a good book."
~ Groucho Marx