I love books. I love checking out new titles. I love reading the summary. I love paging through and admiring the photographs. I love reading the ending first! I love novels. I love cookbooks. I love fantasy. I love devotionals. I love crime novels. I love home decorating idea books. I love story books. I love children's chapter books. I love books! Most of all, I love getting new ideas to incorporate into my life.
And I love telling other people about my favorites. I'm going to highlight a resource each week that you can use in your own life to improve it's quality. Usually by saving time or money, but I might throw a few other good ones in, too. :)
And today, I'm not even going to write about a book! Today's resource is something that we all have access to. And it's free...unless you get a fine. It's your library! Oh, how I love the library. When I was a kid the children's section of my hometown library was on the top floor. It felt like we could see forever! I spent hours and hours reading up there. We would bike to the library every week and fill our backpacks up. I used to make my little sister take some books for me, too, because I could read faster than her! Even when we moved out of town, we still biked in. When I finally had a car and license, it was even better. Not only could we get there faster, but we weren't limited to the amount we could carry on our backs! (They've remodeled this library, you can see the addition on the right of the photo and only use one level for public space- still a good library, but not nearly as awesome as the youth section used to be!)
Libraries today have a plethora of resources. Almost every book I will share is one that you can check out at your own local library. And if they don't have it, they might be able to get it. Of course, it's easy if your town has multiple branches and you can just drive to the other one to pick up the book you're looking for. Here in Lincoln, we have an Interlibrary Loan. Type in the title and author and they will search sister libraries from around the state or across the country for it. We've utilized this a couple of times. Typically for obscure non-fiction (like pipe making or leather tanning), but even for some Christian or homeschool resources that I thought my library would have.
In addition to books, libraries have other media available for check-out, as well. Movies, CD-ROM, and music are widely available. You can use library computers for internet access, or bring in your laptop because most have wi-fi available, too. We regularly attend story time and have done the summer reading program each year. Library events have included musicians, science experiments, and visits from the fire department. For older kids, there's a homework help time, writing workshops, and reading clubs. There are even reading clubs for adults! Check out the Lincoln Libraries site for other things you may not have known about.
I must admit that my favorite part of our library is the youth non-fiction. I can usually find books easy enough for my kids to understand, the pictures are great, and I like them too. Especially the craft books- much more my speed! I can sift through the books on these shelves while my kiddos look at books, put puzzles together, or complete a simple craft project. I love my library!
Make friends with your librarian. They are there to help you find the books and resources you want. I'll say "I'm looking for a chapter book that has cowboys." Not only can she pull several off the shelves, but because she's gotten to know my family through years of story time visits, she can direct us to what the boys would like the best. Conversely, another librarian tried helping me pick a science resource for a school lesson. She thought one in particular would be too difficult for them. I still brought it home with the rest of our stack, and they did fine. But because she doesn't know us, or the kids' abilities, she couldn't make the best recommendations for our family.
Have a book you've been wanting to buy? Head to the library! Need a workout video? Head to the library! Need an indoor play option for the kiddos? Head to the library! What's your favorite part about the library? Have I been overlooking any amazing features? Tell me about it!