August is starting to get closer with it’s back to school rush, so today marks the last set of mini-challenges for The Great Summer Library Challenges created by me and Erica from What Do We Do All Day? (Keep following though, because we still have a special end of summer library activity for you!) We’ve already had fun discovering books in the fiction and non-fiction children’s section of the library. So, today we are going to move on to a fun and somewhat mysterious part of the library, your library’s non-book resources for children.
If you are new, feel free to pick up with our library challenges right here or even go back and check out our previous summer library challenges.
- The Great Summer Library Challenge: Introduction
- The Great Summer Library Challenge: Fiction
- The Great Summer Library Challenge: Non-Fiction
While we are calling these mini challenges, “summer” challenges, they are really designed to be done at any time and in any order. The challenges are also supposed to be fun, so don’t stress out about doing every single challenge. If they just get you and your kids to the library and you discover one new resource or book, then the challenges are successful!
I’m excited about talking about non-book resources at the library, because I think that it’s easy to walk in your library and totally miss some of the wonderful resources that are available. In fact, I learned about several new resources while chatting with our children’s librarian (and I visit the library almost every week).
Don’t be shy about asking your librarian to help you with these challenges. You might be surprised what library resources for children you discover.
Learn about the Library’s Computer Resources for Kids
Your library’s computer stations and online website may contain databases and educational resources for your kids that you aren’t aware of.
Library Challenge #1 – Ask your librarian what programs and resources are available at the library’s computer station for your age child.
Advanced Library Challenge #1a – If your library has an age appropriate computer training session, sign up.
Advanced Library Challenge #1b – Does your library allow you to check out and download e-zines or ebooks for children? If so, check some out!
Advanced Library Challenge #1c -Ask your librarian if your library subscribes to any databases or online resources for children that you can access from home.
Many libraries subscribe to online databases and resources that might not be available to the general public. For instance your library might have special search engines designed for kids, online children’s encyclopedias, and even online book animations. Many times these databases and resources are available on your library’s website, by logging in with your library card account.
Popular databases include Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids or BookFlix. I was surprised to find out that we could access online book animations, games, eBook portals, and even a foreign language program all from our own house.
Explore the Non-book Collections for Kids
All libraries offer resources to check out in addition to print books. You may be familiar with the more common ones such as audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs but your library may also offer braille, microfiche, ebooks, and even photographs and art work.
Library Challenge #2 – Talk to your librarian to find out what non-print materials are in circulation.
Advanced Challenge #1a – What topic are you currently interested in? Find and check out (or view in the library if non-circulating) 3 different materials on that subject.
Advanced Challenge #1b – Even small libraries have unique items in their archives. Ask your librarian, or explore your library’s website to learn about any unique special collections your library might have. Find out if and when these collections ever go on display. Is there something of interest that you would like to see?
Advanced Challenge #1c – Ask your librarian if there are any special sections in the children’s area of the library that are designed for parents. My Greenville library has a parent’s section that covers difficult topics such as grief, puberty, and divorce. We also have a wall of bins that contain books, DVDs, and parental guides arranged by topics such as phonetics and potty training.
Now, don’t forget to check out What Do We Do All Day? and see Erica’s challenges for exploring library non-book resources for children.
Your library probably contains some interesting resources that aren’t even on this list. In fact, Erica and I found that our libraries had a lot of differences in what types of resources you could find. So, if nothing else just ask your librarian what resources he/she thinks most people miss at the library. You might be surprised at what you’re missing.
Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a mom, weekly Greenville News columnist, and blogger also at Kidding Around Greenville SC. Welcome to my parenting blog No Twiddle Twaddle, all about adding a little magic to kids’ lives through play and reading. If you are new, don’t miss these popular posts: 10 Tips for Reading to Babies, Skin Therapy Play Dough, and Sticky Blocks.