What do you remember about your first trip to the library?
Was it the seemingly endless supply of books, music, movies?
Or was it storytime, discovering a kindred spirit in a librarian, or that first daunting research project?
It seems that nearly everyone has a fond memory or two of the library, and during the week of April 3-9 you, and your student, can take your own trip down memory lane by participating in National Library Week.
Made possible by the American Library Association (ALA), National Library Week is an annual event that highlights the valuable roles libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities. You can find out more about ALA’s week-long activities, tools, and resources, and meet honorary chair, Molly Shannon of Saturday Night Live fame, here.
At BASIS Charter Schools, we are encouraging students to visit their local library and get a card if they don’t currently have one. Along with having access to the human search engines known as librarians, a free library card is a pass to:
- Books of all kinds (fiction, nonfiction, biographies, young adult (YA), children’s literature)
- Technology resources
- Self-Improvement Classes
There are tons of ways that your student can take advantage of all the library has to offer:
This is the perfect time to foster a love of reading in your student. Picture books like I am Enough by Grace Byerswhich celebrates being who you are, classics like Beverly Cleary’s rambunctious Ramona, or Jeff Kinney’s Diary of Wimpy Kid series, and historical fiction such as One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia make it easy to find something your primary school student will not be able to put down. Want more suggestions? Just ask your librarian, and they will point you in the right direction. Your library’s storytime events and summer programs make reading fun, and less like a chore.
Try experimenting with different formats. Ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels are all perfect ways to create a lifelong reader out of your middle schooler. Authors like Jason Reynolds tackle real-life teen issues in titles such as Look Both Ways, Rick Riordan gives readers the perfect escape through his fantastical Percy Jackson series, and Nidhi Chanani, weaves a tale of a young girl trying to connect with her mother’s Indian homeland through her graphic novel, Pashmina. Workshops in art, virtual film discussions, and science events are also great ways for your middle schooler to interact with your local library.
YA literature has never been more available or popular! Authors like John Green, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater and Angie Thomas (just to name a few) tackle life as a young adult, delve into rich fantasy worlds, and address world issues. Try challenging your teen to read the book before seeing the movie or binging the streaming series, and discuss ways the adaptation differed from the written material. Events focused on college preparedness, art, entrepreneurship and growing your own business are sure to be of interest to your teen as well.
Keep in mind that the library also offers terrific online resources, and many of the services provided in person can be enjoyed via the web.
When was the last time you visited a library? What library resources do you use and recommend?