Friday, October 19, 2012

The Library (Grateful, Day 5)

If the public library had a frequent-flyer program, I'd be in business.  Lucky for me, all of my kids consider a trip to the library a big treat...even though we're usually there 3 times a week.  They know the librarians by name at our regular haunts, and they figured out library etiquette ages before they got the hang of potty training.  On an average, I have between 80 and 100 items checked out at any given time--the littles and I share a card---and have about a dozen items on hold.

Early on, I discovered that I was a crappy read-aloud-mom.  I lack both the patience and talent to conduct a really good reading of an actual novel, but found that my kids were entranced by books on tape.  We devour them, and my guys have the vocabulary to show for it.  (Akiva sported a British accent from the time he was four till he was about seven...thanks, Jim Dale!)  They all read with expression, know the value of a well placed comma, and have been exposed to hundreds of books and concepts well beyond their reading levels and our budget.  We can even download free titles digitally for their MP3s!

Before Pinterest, the library provided the only feasible way for me to explore a new medium---from beading to cake decorating ---without going broke.  Roughly half of the items in my current return pile are non-fiction; design manuals and cookbooks snuggle alongside dog training and metalsmithing guides, at the moment.

We've moved around quite a bit in the past 8 years, and been exposed to some remarkable libraries.  Miami, Rochester, Des Moines, and now Milwaukee have all had tremendous benefits to offer our family.  I'm grateful beyond words for the wonders the library has brought into our home, and for the many pleasures of book-hunting, puzzle-doing, and librarian-shmoozing when we visit our faves.


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