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Fri, Oct 20, 2017 09:36 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Children can learn a lot at the library


01/16/2008 - The neighborhood library, with its seemingly endless rows of books and tons of printed material, can be a literary wonderland for children. But the Dewey Decimal System and navigating the ways of the library aren't the only lessons to be learned there.

There are several lessons to be learned at the library, many of which go beyond reading and writing. That's why children should be encouraged to visit the library early on in life. Many libraries will issue a library card as soon as a child is able to write his or her name. Here are some of the interesting things a child can grasp from library visits.

Responsibility: Possession of a library card allows a child to take out books, and also requires him or her to return them on time. This is a great lesson in itself, offering independence to youngsters with accountability.

Appropriate behavior: Everyone knows the stereotypical image of the matronly librarian "shhing" rowdy visitors. Children will learn that quiet behavior is expected in the library, a valuable lesson for other areas of life.

Sharing: Many libraries have wonderful children's areas, complete with reading nooks, age-appropriate books, and even stuffed animals or other play things. Lessons in sharing and cooperation are furthered in this intimate setting.

Reading comprehension: Naturally, a place filled with books would be the appropriate place for furthering practice in reading, sentence structure, phonics, and other grade-related lessons. With books separated by author and subject, it also introduces children to themes and favorite writers.

Toddler fun: The library is even a good destination for preschoolers who may not yet be reading. They can participate in tours of the library early on and, thus, develop a relationship and love for all things books. With picture books, and special programs for toddlers, there is plenty to keep them entertained — and educated.

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