Category Archives: Libraries

Free Children Activities – the magical place where everyone can discover answers 

With the storms of NSW here and winter still to arrive, I was wondering what many parents do to entertain their young ones.  I recently read a blog by a new mum, about how she found it difficult getting out with a new baby. How by looking online, for a free or cheap event that would allow her to take her baby, she discovered the story time for Mums and Bubs at her local library. She discovered a safe, welcoming and enjoyable place for her and baby to meet and socialise with others.  I reminisced about my times as a new mum taking my children to storytime and how excited they were. How special the librarians made them feel with their bits of craft. How I was able to make new friends, mums, with similar aged children, who also loved reading.  How my children would choose the special book we would read each night for a week.  I am sure they felt empowered and was I believe,  the beginning of them realising the consequences of their choices, in a great and positive way.  This was a special time and now a lovely memory for my children. 

When I was a child, I would have to walk past the library everyday to and from school. Every afternoon, I would browse the shelves, eager to be a young adult so I could borrow the “grown-up” books. I was an early reader and due to many reasons books were my best escape from reality. My mum who lived on a diet of books and boiled lollies, whilst reading, being a shift worker and unable to access the library during its opening hours, would have me at times return her novels and collect another stack of novels. Authors such as, Georgette Heyer and Daphne du Maurier, the ones I still remember were her favourites or so I thought.  This allowed me to visit the adult shelves and borrow on my mum’s card…. Shhhh don’t tell anyone! 

I would dream about borrowing and reading from the A’s to the Z’s of the fiction shelves in order.  When I finally was able to borrow adult novels on my own card, and attempt to realise this dream, I found that many were not to my liking.  I found that I was reading novels that did not interest me (I had and still have, to a certain extent, a thing about finishing even the worst book and not quitting half way) so I never accomplished my goal. I also realised very quickly how impossible that task would be.

Today, with the Internet, online access to e-books, audio books, e-newspapers and e-magazines enable many to access items without entering the physical library. The physical library still has a place for many wanting to meet, discuss, create or just sit quietly with a book.  Libraries can offer children a magical place where anything is possible they just need to want to know about one thing and begin to question. 

 I have recently visited and critically reviewed, many public libraries in NSW, for my own personal understanding of what is wanted and needed by the community and how the library achieves this. One of these libraries is the Goulburn Public Library  which to me is trying to connect with its community by using social media, namely Facebook. The Goulburn Library is attempting to involve and communicate with the community. It seems to be growing its online presence by focusing on mums with young children, who are also possibly one of the main users of Facebook.  Another high user of Facebook, teenagers, may need assistance in their homework, and so the library offers their community a free online tutor. The library is being renovated and they post updates on the progress which is a great way to keep up to date with any new initiatives or programs they may offer.   

Do you  visit your local library? Are you a member of your local public library? 

When was the last time you visited either in real life or online?  

Are you aware of its services it provides?  

Do you make the most of what your library offers you? 
Check out the events that they hold.  Maybe you or your loved ones can not only gain knowledge but also make new friends or acquaintances.  Lego club is one of the latest things many of the local libraries offer, so even if your young one does not like reading (blasphemy!) they may enjoy the creativity one can experience in a library.  
If you have not been to a library for sometime, I challenge you to visit your nearest one.  Borrow a book, CD or DVD.  SIgn into their e-reader catalogue where you can access items online and not have to venture out in the inclement weather or when life is to busy to physically browse during the library’s opening hours.

Also, I would love to know why, you have not joined your local library? Is there a reason? I am curious. 

On a final note here is Arthur Library card song to inspire and maybe motivate you to visit your public library. 


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Filed under Community building, Community Events, Early & Emergent Readers, General thoughts, Libraries, Pre-Readers (Snuggle Books), Proficient Readers, Reluctant Reader

Heart-Warming Hannah otherwise known as the time a knock on the door gave me hope for humanity.

Last Saturday morning it was cold and wet. I suppose it is to be expected when you live in the Southern Highlands in NSW, Australia. I was drinking my umpteenth mug of coffee, doing some university essay writing in my pj’s. Everyone else were either lazing about in bed or making their breakfast of toast and hot chocolates.
The house was a mess and the floors were in desperate need of a clean but I was not expecting any visitors and so I was relaxed about the way our home looked. Then to my terror, there was a knock at our door! I was hoping, actually praying, my hubby would answer the door, so I could at least put on some clothes to greet the early morning visitors but NO he stayed in bed, snoring!
With great trepidation, I opened the door slowly, to find a man and a young girl waiting patiently. My stomach sank, I assumed they were going to complain about the kids, dogs or hubby (no one would ever complain about me!) or worse, ask for a donation, as I had only a $50 note in my purse (sometimes I wish ATMs would dispense smaller currencies).
The man spoke first, he asked if I was the owner of the “little book share thingy” on my front verge, I looked over to it whilst nodding the affirmative. The dad introduced himself and his daughter, Hannah, a year 4 student, from a nearby public primary school, and that they live in a neighbouring street. Hannah, he said is a bookworm and loves the book swap. She hoped that I would not be upset as she had created a flyer/information sheet and hoped to do a letter drop, on my behalf. She had a laminated page, her prototype, to show me. It invited, kids, mums and dads, grandparents, in fact everyone to be part of this book swap. The dad expressed that they were worried my reaction could be nasty and angry that Hannah could be this presumptuous.
With tears in my eyes, I thanked her and explained that soon after my hubby put the little library onto our front verge, he had to have an emergency brain operation. Then due to the craziness of life I never got around to doing a flyer. I took solace that books were being exchanged and that several neighbours had left notes thanking me for this community building initiative. This venture act by her was what I dreamed of. This concept was no longer mine, it was taking its own life form. But I never expected a young girl of ten would do something so wonderful.

This is my dream, connecting, encouraging and enriching children’s love of books and highlighting all that is possible through books. Hannah showed me that what I believe and want is a reality, that Children DO Love Books. This has encouraged me to start a kids’ book club in our neighbourhood.

My Library Swap

My Library Swap

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