As a mom of 2 boys who LOVE to read, we find ourselves making a trip to the library in Baton Rouge at least once a week. And during the summer, we pretty much live at the library. Here are some tips and tricks to navigating the library like a pro.
1) Have a designated library tote. It’s a great place to store books ready to be returned, and when it’s time to go to the library, you’re not rummaging through mounds of toys/bookshelves to locate them. Also, it’s nice to have a bag handy when you’re at the library and you’ve got kids hurling books at you left and right. Lastly, it establishes a limit on books, “Sorry kids, when the bag is full it’s time to check out.”
2) Apply for a library card in your CHILD’s name! Did you know EBR libraries do not charge late fees on children’s items?! I didn’t learn this trick until my second child, but oh how I wish someone would have told me sooner. Not that I’m one to consistently return books late; however, it would have certainly saved me the stress of getting to the library by a certain date/time and maybe even a few bucks along the way. It makes me cringe every time I see a momma shell out $20 to cover her child’s late fees. Late fees are preventable, people! Of course there are certain restrictions:
- A child’s card is issued to applicants who are under 11 years old.
- A parent or guardian must be with the child to co-sign the registration form. A parent or guardian’s picture ID may be used for the child.
- The parent or guardian is responsible for the use of the child’s card.
- No late fees on children’s items! (Hooray!) After 60 days you will be billed for the item; however, the charge may be removed upon return of the item.
- 50 items limit (max of 10 on audio books, music CDs or DVDs.)
3) Tag your bag, folks! Alright, so how many of you have ever been to the library, let your child pick out piles of books, patiently waited in line with a toddler in tow, only to find that you’ve … gasp!…forgotten your library card?! This is the point where my heart sinks into my stomach, because I know that not only do I have to leave empty-handed; but now, I’ve got to explain to my 3-year-old why he can’t have all the books/movies he’s been waiting so patiently for. There are certain ways around this, like applying for a replacement card, etc. However, if you’re “Mom of the Year” like me, you’ve forgotten your wallet altogether, because you failed to switch it out from your purse to your diaper bag. Never fear!…there is a solution. The minute you get home with your shiny new “Kid’s Card” from the library, punch a hole through the top corner (make sure it’s not on the part they scan) and attach it to your designated library tote. I used a bag tag I already had on hand, but you can use a rubber band, key ring, etc.
4) Take advantage of all the fun, free events the libraries offer throughout the year. At our house, we attend story time as if it were a religious service. Not only do your kids get to hear some great stories; but they also get to sing songs, learn some new dance moves, and interact with other kiddos. We also love the special crafts they offer that usually correlate with a book they just read. Added bonus … they provide all of the supplies, and there’s no mess for you to clean up when it’s over!
So head on over to your local library and see what all it has to offer to you and your family. For a list of kid-friendly events held at EBRPL, head to their website.