Taking your child to the library regularly is an important way to promote reading and literacy. The last thing your want, however, is your curious and rambunctious child running around the library, yelling across the room and disturbing patrons. Whether you are taking your child to library for the first time or you had a nightmare experience in the past, teach your library etiquette at home to ensure a successful future visit.
Read About the Library
Read books to your child that teach her about the library and library rules. For children ages 5 and older, "Manners in the Library," by Carrie Finn, teaches children about why the rules of the library are in place. For kids 6 and older, "Manners Matter in the Library," by Lori Ann Mortenson, includes information about book sharing etiquette, including returning books on time.
Role-play Library Etiquette
Chances are your child has a collection of books at home. Set up a desk near a book case and pretend to be a librarian to practice library etiquette. Make a paper library card and help him pick out books. Remind him to speak in quiet voices, always walk and to say "please" and "thank you." Show him to either put a book he is not interested in back on the shelf or in a re-shelving cart. Take turns, letting your child be the librarian. Talk loudly and see whether your child admonishes you to lower your voice.
Visit the Library
With the library etiquette rules fresh in his mind, take your child to the library and see how he does. Encourage him to ask the librarians politely for help if he needs to. Get a library card for your child and have him sign it. Demonstrate etiquette in other ways at the library based on the resources available. If you get on a computer with your child and a line of people are waiting, practice obeying the library's request to use the computers for only 20 minutes at a time.
Talk to a Librarian
See whether you can arrange a one-on-one meeting with a librarian for your child, where she can go over any library etiquette rules you might have missed. Sometimes hearing the rules from the adult that works there can have more of an effect on getting your child to follow them. If your child is old enough, perhaps she can also go over the Dewey decimal system as well.
- Manners in the Library; Carrie Finn
- Manners Matter in the Library; Lori Ann Mortenson
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