Visiting the Library: Affordable Fun and Learning

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Visiting the library offers you a wealth of opportunities to take part in a number of fun events as well as borrow books, comics, DVDs and more.

Do you use your local library? While once upon a time going to the library with children was a thing to be feared (even the best-behaved children can’t always be relied upon to stay quiet!) libraries today are very much more family and children friendly.

Not only do libraries have dedicated children’s areas, often with child-sized colourful furniture, tables and more they offer a range of additional features and activities that you might be missing out on.

Joining the library is free and you may join at any age. Having a library card allows you to have access to a wealth of free or very affordable fun.

Books, Books and More Book
The obvious pull of the library are the books you may take home. With the majority of libraries boasting a great number of titles for all ages, both fiction and non-fiction you will save a fortune on buying books and always have new material for bedtime stories and reading fun.

CDs, DVDs and Talking Books
Many libraries also offer the option to borrow DVDs and CDs at a much-reduced price. This can be perfect when you’re looking for something new for over half term holidays or during those bothersome rainy days when getting out and about is a no go. Audio books are also available.

Library Events
Most libraries run family-friendly events throughout the years, from craft workshops to meet the author events and more. One of our favourite events in our UK libraries is the Summer Reading Challenges. Every year the libraries run a themed challenge where children aged 4yrs+ have to read six or more books over the summer (spaced out preferably so if you take four books a week put one towards the challenge). Every time a book is logged when you take them back themed stickers, bookmarks and other treats are awarded. At the end of the challenge, your little one gets a medal and a certificate (if at school they are usually able to have this certificate given out in a school assembly by library staff when the new school year starts). It’s all great fun.

Bookstart also liaise with libraries to offer a number of fabulous and free events (and more!).

Online Services
Not only can you view what books you’ve had out and which ones you still have using the online service, you may renew the books (avoiding fines) and even request titles be sent to your library (free of charge for children) all from your home PC, tablet or phone. All you need to access the online services is your library card (number) and a pin number that the staff at the library can give you.

Internet Use
Library members also have access to the computers that many libraries have in place for public use. You need to book a computer (otherwise you might get there and not have access) which is usually free for the first half an hour or so and then pay a small charge per half hour/hour after that. This is a useful service for people without an internet connection at home, for older children to use while you attend craft sessions or season reading events with younger ones or for you to use when the kids are elsewhere. Ask your library about availability and charges.

You Time
The library also offers you an opportunity to escape to another world, another time and to do so in comfort. Reading at home is a great way to unwind and relax. Make sure you keep your library card safe and take full advantage of it too.

Clearly, the library offers you and your family so much more that they might have done years ago when it was a place of silence and stern looks. Children often look forward to their visit and it is another educational, fun and free out of the house activity to add your list. Ask at your local library to find out what events, classes and more they have on offer.

 

 

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