Sunday, September 20, 2015

Youth Library Cards

Common Sense is the New Wisdom 

Hop on down to the local library
with toddler in tow
Scoot on over to the librarian
with toddler on toe
Order a library card in toddler's name
Then dance and hoot 
until you get the boot!


early learning
Papa, please put my library card on our refrigerator with a really good magnet

It came as rather a surprise when I read an article in The University of Washington's Columns magazine about "The New Mindset, Turning Research Into Better Living." The first example of UW's "innovation imperative" was a nursing professor who "discovered" that premature babies gained weight and developed faster if they were rocked and could hear the sound of a heartbeat.

I thought, "What? Really? Doesn't everyone know that?"

The next line was even more surprising to me. . . "The findings, which ran counter to the convention of protecting preemies from everything, including sound and motion, revolutionized neonatal care. . . it showed that nurturing and contact are vital for these tiny beings to develop and thrive."

I thought, "Wow! I guess what I consider simple logic isn't that apparent to some others."

library, baby, toddler,
. . . and you can go anywhere, too!

The next day I read an article from the local newspaper. Its title was. . .

"Librarys Offer Literacy Tools For Children: This is National Library Card Sign-Up Month"

I thought, "Hmmm. . .  the fact that libraries have literacy tools for children seems way too obvious. . . wait. . . maybe common sense is the new wisdom!"

So, the article went on to encourage parents to get into the habit of going to the library with this one kick-start-action step.

Action Step: Library Cards For Young Children

Parents and guardians may sign up their children for their very own youth library card beginning at birth!

These are some of my personal suggestions:
  • Create a schedule going to the library every two weeks, say on Tuesdays, to begin while the baby is not able to walk. 
  • As soon as your toddler is running, wildly inquisitive, let them help to choose the books. 
  • Choose five and let your child choose five for a total of ten books to take home. This helps to keep track of the number of books you need to find when they dissapear under the sofa etc. 
  • As soon as the child is dexterous enough, let them slide the book's barcode under the scanner themselves, or bring them up to the desk with their own library card in hand. 

early literacy skills,

  • 'Check out' their look of concentration, pride, responsibility, and determination.  
  • Do not help them to save time. 
  • Take a breath mint and just sit back and observe your child in action. 
  • Naturally, if the need becomes clear, the child may ask for help at some point. 
  • But only if they ask.
  • Try to fend off other well-intentioned adults from helping your child. 
Just do it!

Libraries offer many resources to help parents and caregivers get children off to a strong start at home with proven early literacy practices. Early literacy is a component of early learning.

Early learning is everything a child experiences and learns in the first years of life, from birth to age five, even before they actualy are able to read for themselves!

With a bit of common sense and much bookish mirth, 

Papa Green Bean

At many libraries, youth library cards do not have late fees!