|Browsing Books at Library by Bonnie Henderson on MorgueFile|
|Australian Storyteller at Public Library Summer Program © Katrena|
Public libraries often offer summer reading programs with prizes for various amounts of reading. This is a great way to encourage the kids to continue utilizing reading skills learned during the school year. My kids may not particularly enjoy assigned reading during the school year, but they often read much more in summer months because they have more time to read books they wish to read. I encourage my children to read some non-fiction books about topics of interest in addition to non-fiction stories. Some libraries may offer reading programs for adults as well.
|MAD Science Program at Local Library © Katrena|
In addition to reading programs, libraries will often offer group activities. Speakers entertain the crowd while encouraging interaction with a take-home message for folks to read. My family has had the opportunity to see a binturong, an animal that smells like buttered popcorn; heard people play various instruments such as a didgeridoo and concertina; participated in a drum circle; enjoyed puppet shows; saw experiments in MAD science programs; and so much more at the local library. Additional summer programs are often offered that are geared toward specific age groups.
|Magic Show During Summer Reading Program at the Library © Katrena|
If you do not live close to the library, check to see if they offer a variety of ways to access books. For example, you might check out online versions of books through their web site or the library might offer a satellite library or bookmobile closer to one's neighborhood. Some libraries may schedule visits to the town hall or some other prominent location in an outlying community and offer special programs during warmer months.
|Flow Circus Interactive Program at Library Summer Show © Katrena|
Libraries offer information in various formats as well. Libraries often offer the ability to check out magazines, which is a great way to save on a subscription or at least determine which magazines are most favored by the kids before purchasing. Books on CD offer a great way to enjoy a book and are particularly useful when traveling together. When we were checking out A Series of Unfortunate Events on CD, the kids couldn't wait to ride somewhere so we could discover what happened next. CDs of various storytellers have been a big hit with my family. Music CDs and movies on DVD are also pretty popular at our home.
|Puppet Show at Library Program © Katrena|
Many libraries offer free classes, online and/or in person on various topics. Perhaps the family can strive to learn something completely new together in warmer months. I know the kids are out for summer break, but learning something completely different might spark an interest that lasts a lifetime.
|Hands-on Learning at MAD Science Program at Local Library © Katrena|
So your nearest library does not have the exact item for which you are searching? Chances are your nearest library may be able to acquire that item from another library through an inter-library loan. You might browse the card catalog a few days before you plan to visit your local library to see if specific items are available or if an inter-library loan is an option - this can save you an extra trip, time, and some gas money.
|Libraries are SUPER Places for Summer Fun © Katrena|
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Thanks for visiting my Travel NC With Kids blog - feel free to share what you've done this summer at the library in the comments section below.