The National Children's Literacy Website is a unique children's literacy initiative and is part of the Soho Center's National Children's Literacy Information Project - a not-for-profit
literacy initiative dedicated to advancing the literacy skills of young children, promoting literacy as an integral factor
in the growth of society, and enhancing literacy in a variety of
home and child care settings. We believe that reading is a fundamental skill needed by all, and we are proud of what we are doing to help children learn to read.

Visit the Library

I t ' s   W o n d e r f u l   a n d   F r e e

Most public libraries offer a wide variety of children's books and magazines.  And there is often a specially-trained children's librarian to help find just the right book - whether it's Mother Goose or how to do a science project. Many public  libraries also lend records, tapes, videos, and DVDs of children's books and movies. And they often sponsor special programs, including story hours for youngsters (from toddlers on up), summer reading programs, and homework help.

Keep in mind, too, that a visit to the library can help enrich your life as an adult. Whether you are seeking information or just a "good read," your public library has a lot to offer.

Visiting the library is a great experience.  Here are a few things to consider -

For Child Care Providers - 
Depending on the location of your local library and the number (and ages) of children in child care, it may be possible to schedule one or more visits for story times, a "look-around," and to borrow books for use in your child care program. If you can safely get children to and from the library (and have permission from parents to do so), it's a very worthwhile field trip.

For Parents -
As soon as you can, it is a good idea to include children - even toddlers - in regular trips to your library. Most libraries will issue library cards to children who can print their names and whose parents will countersign for them. See that children get their own library cards as soon as possible so that they can check out their own books.

It's a good idea to encourage kids to ask on their own for help in finding books and materials. Keep in mind, however, that a librarian is there to point out different choices, not to decide what ideas your children should be exposed to. That is your job. So, no matter how helpful or knowledgeable a children's librarian may be, your participation in selecting and sharing books with your own children or the children in your care is very important.

Although public libraries welcome children and usually have special facilities for them, there are some common-sense guidelines for behavior that parents and  providers need to help children understand -

Library books are everybody's property and should be treated carefully.

Libraries have policies regarding loan periods and fines for overdue books.

The library is there for the whole community, and they need to be considerate of
other people's needs

Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to see that your children behave acceptably and are not disruptive to others using the library. Instruct your children on how to be considerate of others using the library.

And, if you are a parent who is dropping off a school-age child at the library or letting your school-age child go to the library directly from school, always pick up your child at least 30 minutes before closing time. In case you are delayed, give your child an alternative plan, such as calling a neighbor for a ride home.

Please understand that all of these guidelines and suggestions are designed to protect children, not to discourage them from visiting libraries. Kids are very welcome at public libraries.


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