A love of reading and a knowledge of the benefits of libraries will serve your children well for their entire lifetime. Libraries are a great way to get them on the path to becoming better students and writers, having a better vocabulary, and knowing more about themselves and the world around them.

Here are some useful guidelines on how to attract young children to the library:

Visit your local library if you haven’t already

Familiarise yourself with your local library â?? look around, ask questions, and get library cards for yourself and each of your children. In most cases, you will still be responsible for the care and return of the materials, but allowing your children to have their own cards makes it much more personal for them.

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When your children are old enough, you can start to encourage them to keep track of their own books and due dates.

Set good reading ethics for your children to attract them to the library

You are your childâ??s greatest role model. Set a good example by conveying to your children your love of books and reading and the value of libraries. Check out books for yourself as well when you take your children to the library.

Read to your children regularly

Reading to your children is a fundamentally important activity in their development and intelligence. Even at a very young age your children will love to sit quietly listening to your voice and looking at the pictures. A familiarity with books and reading will help to attract your children to the library.

Bedtime seems to be the most common time to read to your children, but any time during the day will rest and benefit your child. As your children get older, bedtime story time can transition into independent reading.

Teach your children how to care for books

Never allow books to be torn, defaced or abused in any other way. Impress upon children that books are valuable and need to be treated with care and respect. Try to organise a special storage space for your childrenâ??s own books as well as their library books. Although a bookshelf is best, children love to have books close at hand for bed-time reading â?? especially while they are still being read.

Give your children freedom to select their own books at the library

Younger children might need help finding where age-appropriate books are kept in the library. It is important, however, to allow your children to choose library books that they find interesting and stimulating.

Find out what programmes and services the library offers children

Look around for a calendar of events and ask a librarian if you’re not sure. Encourage your children to attend age-appropriate library programmes. Many libraries have story times, performances, and other activities for children of all ages. They’re a great opportunity to help your kids associate the library with having fun, and many are designed to encourage reading.

Libraries often offer programmes and activities over the summer holidays. It’s a great way keep children engaged and reading over the summer. Reading is also a great antidote to summer boredom and excess television watching.

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