When I think of libraries, I generally picture dark fusty rooms with heavy brocade curtains and wooden shelves stacked floor to ceiling with leather-bound tomes. I see academics poring over print for hours on end in utter silence, only to hiss in annoyance should some poor unfortunate, or impertinent, soul interrupt their study.
How different our local library is from this! Swansea Library is modern, airy, light and vibrant. People go there to read, borrow and study, but also to use the Internet and participate in the many events and clubs that are organised on site.
Icklegen and I only joined a few months ago and we have been regularly ever since. There is a dedicated children’s corner with a healthy selection of books, including board books, which is the stage we are at. We go through the dedicated box picking out the titles we like the look of and getting a feel for what they are about. KIds’ DVDs are also available, although we have found these to be a bit hit and miss: either they don’t seem to work at home, or don’t find favour with my little girl.
In due course, we have plans to attend some of the regular activities for littlies. We like the look of Read & Rhyme Time on Wednesdays @ 10 am for toddlers age 1-3, and also Friday morning Storytime @ 9.30 am which we have been recommended by a couple of local mums. What’s more, these events are free, as are library membership and loans. You don’t get better than that!
I also like to select a novel for myself during our visits, but it is something of a challenge. I barely pause to pick up a book and Icklegen takes off; she loves to run around the library (shock, horror!), and she’s a speedy mover now. More than once she has disappeared down an aisle out of view, which I find pretty alarming. Especially given all the lovely books within easy reach of inquisitive little hands.
My general approach to-date has been to a) catch up with my tot before there are any mishaps, and b) select an aisle – any aisle – and choose a book from that aisle to borrow. I do try and glance at the back covers first to get an idea of the contents, but sometimes I just have to grab and go. I’ve had a few *interesting* reads this way…I obviously need to refine my strategy.
What do you like most about your local library?