As a kid, I LOVED libraries and book stores. My mom often took me to our local library with my designated library books bag to let me check out a TON of books, especially during summer break. I read many teen girl trilogies, Amish series (I know… I still love them) and books with interesting covers. (I’ve always judged a book by its cover.)
I would even attend the craft and other special events at the library. It was truly one of my favorite places. I loved to check out like 10 books and try to get them all read by the due date. Another favorite thing? The return slot. I’ve always enjoyed putting the books in there. It felt old school and fun. (I also really miss Blockbuster… just saying.)
Before the internet and easy home access, my parents would drive me and several friends up to the big city library to do research. I remember spending one afternoon at the library researching Zion National Park for my 4th grade project. I thought it was so cool that there were multiple books about one national park!
Libraries have been a pretty consistent friend for me as a young child all the way through college. I loved spending hours studying in the stillness at Mizzou. I was all about East 4th floor – big window by the trees and never a ton of students in that section. Perfect.
Once I left college libraries kind of went out of fashion for me. Internet access provided convenience and with an adult job I found less time to read and less reason to research through books. Most of the books I get, I buy from Amazon prime. It’s convenient, cheap and I get to keep them. (It’s not always cheap though…)
However, now that I have a son, I am rediscovering libraries. I am all about taking my son to experience story time, music classes and any other baby related events. He loves to be around other babies, I like to get out of the house and it’s actually really fun. So, I recently headed to our local library for storytime – it was cancelled, but I found a really neat kid’s play space. It’s huge, only for kids under 6 and has a ton of different areas/activities. They have a baby area with features attached to the walls, developmentally appropriate toys and padding on the floor. They also have a block/lego area, puppet show and puppets, a big wooden car, a doll house, a kitchen area, and a little toy store.
On the days when I don’t have anything planned or just need to get out of the house, I can drive 7 minutes down the road and entertain my son for at least 45 minutes for free. It’s so awesome!
The other day, I had my husband go with me so he could see this area and watch our son be so freaking adorable crawling around. There were 4 little girls there and Lochlan was mesmerized watching them play. We also got a library card and checked out a book for us and a few new books for Lochlan. What’s really cool is that the library now has an app where you can search for and reserve books! I am just really impressed and excited to be using a library again.
The library is such a good thing for communities; free books = free knowledge, events, and computer access all help people to connect to each other and the world. I feel like not enough people use them and that’s such a shame. I was one of them for awhile! It’s too easy to just use Amazon prime and have everything delivered to you – there’s a service for everything now. You miss out on so much when you don’t get out and participate in your community. I’m so glad I’m back to using the library and I think you should go check yours out soon!