A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Learning Partners

Let's Use
the Library!

Most public libraries offer a wide variety of children's books and magazines, with many in Spanish and other languages. In addition to printed materials, libraries often lend audiotapes and videocassettes of childrens' books and movies, and more libraries are making computers available to the public. Many libraries also sponsor special programs, including children's story hours, summer reading programs, and homework help. If your child has special needs, be sure to ask about services the library offers for the blind, the deaf, and those who are gifted or need remedial help. Many libraries have specially trained librarians for children. Feel free to ask them for help.

Here are some things you can do to introduce your child to the library:

Library Activities

Become a Member

for young children

  1. Sign up for a library card yourself, and check out books to learn stories, songs, rhymes, and fingerplays to use at home to stimulate and encourage your child's development.

  2. Get a library card for your child as soon as possible. (Some libraries will issue a card as soon as a child can write his or her name.)

  3. Encourage your child to check out books. This can encourage responsibility, too.

  4. Take your child to the library for special programs.

Get Into the Act

for elementary school children
  1. Get your child into reading programs at the library. Many children earn certificates or other awards for reading books through special library programs.

  2. Visit your children's school library, meet the librarian, and see what it has to offer. Help out with any book fairs the school sponsors. You'll learn a lot about children's literature that way.

  3. Enroll your child in computer courses the library may offer.

Reference Desk

for more advanced students
  1. Encourage your children to use the library for schoolwork. Help them determine if the library has the resources they need or if they need to check other information sources.

  2. Give your children encouragement, advice, and a ride if they need it, but resist the temptation to take over an assignment. Let your children be responsible for researching and writing reports.

  3. Check out the special services your library offers for helping students with school assignments, such as homework hotlines and term paper clinics.

  4. Build up your personal library by getting books for 50 cents or $1.00 at yard sales.

Resources: Information was based on Helping Your Child Use the Library. For more information, please contact the National Library of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20208, telephone 1-800-424-1616. Other materials from the Family Involvement Partnership for Learning--for families, schools, employers, and community groups--can be obtained by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN.

U.S. Department of Education
Richard W. Riley

Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Sharon P. Robinson
Assistant Secretary

National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment

National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students

Please feel free to reproduce this information


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