I love our library. I really do. When we walk into the children’s section of our local library, it’s very much like a scene from Cheers, but instead of everyone shouting, “Norm!”, the library ladies all call out my kids’ names and hug them. Seriously, it’s awesome.
Now our local library is nothing to write home about in terms of aesthetics. The outside of the building is actually quite gorgeous. I believe it might even be one of the buildings in my town that’s historically protected. But the inside… well, it’s seen better days, that’s for sure. But I quickly learned to overlook that. It’s all about the people and the books, baby!
The people, as I mentioned earlier, know my kids by name and adore them. Bubba & Birdie feel very comfortable there (we visit often!) and even my youngest will waltz herself up to the desk to ask one of the librarians for a certain title or author and them off she’ll go holding the librarian’s hand as they hunt down what she’s after that day.
The books (and music, puzzles, dvds, books-on-cd, etc.) are obviously what we’re after. And we check out A LOT each week. Here’s an example of a typical week’s worth of items.
No joke. This is my largest beach bag (it’s HUGE!) and I still can’t fit all the books in there! (Can you tell we LOVE to snuggle up & read at our house! Ha!)
The trick isn’t so much how to transport the books back and forth, it’s keeping track of all the stuff during the week so we aren’t on a wild goose chase trying to find all the books to return.
I’ve developed a little system for that now and it’s made my life so much easier. It goes like this. I am in control of the dvd we pick for the week. It goes in the media closet on the dvd player. Duh, right?!
The rest of the books are kept in the kids’ rooms – but not just anywhere. Library books have a “home” and it is NOT with our own book collections!
Here’s a picture from Bubba’s bedroom. This is his bookshelf reserved ONLY for library books. He has a separate bookshelf for his own collection. And the two are kept separated and do not mix. When we come home from the library we put all the new books on his “white shelf” (the other shelf where he keeps his own books is red) and he knows to put them back here when he’s done reading them. Works like a charm. On library day, the kids grab the books from their special spots and off we go to get some more!
The system is similar in Birdie’s bedroom, except that she uses a basket for her library books and a white bookshelf for her own collection. Her room is not as ideal as her brother’s simply because her room is still the “nursery” and we haven’t made her room into a big girl room yet. We’re working on that one! 😉 But for the time being, she does still have a designated spot for her library books where they’re kept separate from her own and where she knows to put them. When we redo her bedroom I will have a set up more like Bubba’s where the book covers can be displayed because it’s just so much more pleasing to the eye.
I like to have things organized and I feel like this is one small way I’m teaching my children to be organized at early ages. That, and I really don’t like searching for things, so I love everything having a “home” and that all of us know where pretty much everything in our house belongs.
What’s your system for library books? Do you keep them in a special spot?
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Mae’s Favorite Things Friday is tomorrow! See you then!