February is Library Lover’s Month. And, who loves libraries more than librarians? If it’s been awhile since you talked to a children’s librarian, you might be surprised by the information that they can provide. And, don’t worry that you are bothering them. They answer questions all day, every day from kids, parents, caregivers, teachers and many more. With new diverse materials, innovative activities and programs your local librarian can be a great partner in encouraging a love of reading and learning in your kids.
Of course books are still a library’s most important feature. If you are looking for a certain book, author or subject area, a children’s librarian is an expert and can make knowledgeable informed recommendations. They can also provide you with pre-compiled lists of books related by topic, age, or by reader level. If you have a struggling reader they can also help make “just right” reading suggestions.
Modern libraries function as multi-media centers. You have access to music, movies, computer games, puppets and much more. Again, the children’s librarians have curated many of these resources and can make recommendations on the educational and entertainment values of the materials.
In addition to the physical collection most Central Iowa libraries offer digital materials on-line. Children’s librarians are leaders in using new media with young children. They are up-to-date with recent e-books and apps and how to incorporate those tools into traditional early literacy programming. You can also ask the librarians for information or assistance for accessing these materials.
All of the Des Moines area libraries offer story times, literacy programs and other fun activities for kids. If you would like more information about these programs or a calendar of events, ask the children’s librarian and they can provide one to you. Also, if you have a suggestion for programs or activities, let the children’s librarian know. They always want to hear about what children are learning and working on and how they can help.
Many libraries provide community outreach. The Des Moines Public Library in particular has two outreach programs: Read (Red) Rover Outreach and Homebound Services. Read Rover provides literacy experiences to preschool age children in 11 different United Way supported child care centers in the Des Moines area. The Read Rover Reader visits 24 different classrooms to provide interactive story times for children ages 3 – 5 years. This program provides classroom and teachers with more books and more literacy experiences.
Through the Homebound Services outreach program, the Des Moines Public Library, utilizes volunteers, to deliver library materials to library patrons who are unable to visit the library facilities due to a physical disability or illness. Books in large print, books in regular size print, books on compact disc, music CDs and magazines are available for homebound service. Contact the Des Moines Public Library branch nearest your home and ask to speak to the homebound services librarian for more information.
Librarians strengthen and connect their communities by providing up-to-date information, resources, and programming to kids, parents, caregivers and teachers. By asking a children’s librarian a few questions, you will find new ways to individualize reading and learning for your kids.
Have You Talked to Your Children’s Librarian Lately?