by Becky Nelson
Salida Regional Library
You know from recent studies in child development and neuroscience that reading books out loud to your child helps develop their reading skills long before they are able to read.
So how is library story time different from reading to your children at home? There are many additional benefits:
Your child gets experience in listening to another adult, including learning how to pay attention to someone who is not their parent or normal caregiver, and how to sit quietly while others are speaking.
Your child has the opportunity to become engaged in a story and to see other children become engaged as well. Experiencing the public performance of literature in this capacity can be very different from reading to your child at home, when they can stop to ask you questions or decide to change books in the middle of a story.
By allowing the library to select authors and titles for story time, you are opening your child to a potentially more diverse selection of authors, cultural backgrounds and narrative styles.
Library story time is an event that can foster a sense that the library is a special place, helping introduce your children to a lifelong love for your local public library and books.
Making reading a fun activity through story time helps encourage “print motivation,” the association of storytelling with excitement to develop the idea of reading as a pleasure and not a chore
Benefits for parents
Library story time is not just beneficial for your child, but also for you as parents in the following respects:
Story times are free and don’t require too much planning (although some more popular locations may require a preregistration), providing a quick and easy family-friendly activity at the spur of the moment.
Library staff will model distinctive oral reading skills for story time, such as how to incorporate the book itself into the storytelling process and how to ask your child questions that will keep them engaged as you read to them at home
At story time for younger children, you can learn new songs, nursery rhymes and finger plays, as well as suggestions for new authors and titles of children’s books that you may not have previously been familiar with.
Library story time is a great way to meet other parents in your community and for your child to socialize with other kids.
Salida Regional Library story time is at 10 a.m. Wednesdays. Children from birth to 5 years old are invited to come join in the fun of reading interaction and spending time with other families.
For questions, call Becky at the library, 719-539-4826.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” – Emilie Buchwold.
Becky Nelson is children’s librarian at Salida Regional Library.