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Utilizing Your Public Library

Jun 11

Utilizing Your Public Library
 

When it comes to your child’s education, you want to make sure you are finding and using every resource that may be helpful. Though your child’s school is likely equipped with a well-stocked library, it may only be available during school hours and is often not somewhere you can go with your child. Utilizing your public library is often a great solution to this. Public libraries have longer hours, offer a wider variety of resources and can be a great partner in your child’s education.

Your public library exists to provide you and your children with a plethora of resources, both educational and entertaining. Public libraries today offer books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, video games, community space, resources to access the internet, educational and fun programs and much more. In addition to this, libraries are also staffed by smart, well-educated professionals who are trained specifically to help you find the information you need. With a young child in school, possibly writing papers, researching topics or working on projects for subjects you may not have thought of in years, it can be helpful to turn to someone who navigates information as a profession.

Librarians wear many hats. In addition to developing and maintaining collections, they also help patrons find what they need by sorting through an endless supply of information and providing exactly what will be most helpful. The next time you’re struggling to find the best book for your child’s book report, chances are your public librarian will be happy to help. Public libraries also often utilize interlibrary loan, meaning if your local library doesn’t have an item you need, they will often order it from another library and notify you when it arrives.

Public libraries today recognize the importance of working closely with local schools and being well equipped to help local students. One of the ways libraries are working to accomplish this is by familiarizing themselves with the Common Core standards. Public librarians will often meet and work with local school librarians and teachers to clearly understand how they can best serve students through collection development (acquiring books and resources that will be most helpful to students), reference services (being prepared to answer students’ questions) and being prepared to offer help with schoolwork.

In addition to helping you and your child find the best resources for their schoolwork, the library also serves as a community space. Often times, and especially if you have multiple children, our homes can become hectic. With the full schedules we all seem to have lately, your home can become a less than ideal place to study. Children can become easily distracted when they’re asked to study but their toys or video games are in the next room tempting them. Libraries are equipped with study spaces that can become a great solution for children who may need to focus more. In addition, if your child has or needs a tutor for any subject, library study rooms are great meeting places where both the tutor and your child will be able to focus and accomplish their best work.

Finally, one way public librarians can serve as a partner in your child’s education is through programming. Libraries are committed to getting to know their community and then figuring out the best way to serve that community. This means you’ll often find programming designed specifically for the needs of your community, including your children. Story times and reading programs may seem like the most obvious, and while these are often popular in many libraries, there are many more programs your child can benefit from. Libraries may offer programs that introduce children to and educate them on current technology, get them interested in and excited about new hobbies, connect them with other members of the community and more. Best of all – these programs are almost always free of charge.

Your public library can serve as a great outside source for you and your children. These free institutions are dedicated to serving the public and offering the most helpful and efficient assistance and resources. Visit your local library today to find out exactly how your librarians can work with you and your children to help achieve educational success.

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