library help/frustration

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Specky, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Specky

    Specky Well-Known Member

    Hi guys. Do you take your 2 yo to the library? If you do, what do you expect from them?
    I just got back and I am thinking by the way the staff treated me that I am taking them when they are too young.

    My boys are so good, I think in part because I try to expose them to different situations.
    Anyway, our library has different rooms that are all open, so I've gotten them to stay with me in one room at a time. We are quiet and respectful. I've gotten them to put away one toy before taking another. The same with books. We take one out and put it back before taking another and here is the tricky part...the book doesn't always go back in the same exact location. I understand the concept of a library so maybe I shouldn't be taking them this young if I c.ant manage to get the books put away properly, it's just one step ahead of what I can do at this time...

    So my question do you do it? I see all the moms of singletons doing just fine, and before today, I thought my kids were doing such a great job!

    I am so frustrated...thanks for your insight!
  2. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I took them at 2 and I had the same expectations as you. They stayed by me (but they really are pretty quiet and not wanderers when out in public anyway). I taught them to put their toy or puzzle away before taking out another. The books in our play area pretty much have the same code, so I don't think it matters so much where they go. But if we're in the children's section where the books are coded by author or whatever, I try to watch to make sure they're putting them in the right spot. Mostly, I just leave them out on a table or cart that is designated for the librarians to reshelve the books. I actually think they prefer this, so rather than worry about reshelving them properly, I'd just place them there and not worry about it.

    It sounds like your kids are doing great and being very respectful at the library - especially for their age. I'd be very upset if a librarian made me feel like I shouldn't be there. I would hope that a librarian, especially, would understand the importance of books and reading to your children at a young age, and I would hope it would make them happy to see your kids showing an interest at such a young age. To discourage that, or you for bringing them, is really disappointing!
  3. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    I don't, lol. But yeah I'd make it a point to have everything put back where it belongs.
  4. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    It sounds like they're doing fine to me (assuming they're in the children's section) -- maybe you just got a grumpy librarian.

    However, I don't expect the kids to put books back. Having worked in a bookstore, I know it is way more work to find things that are in the wrong place than to reshelve books that are just left out. I try to gather up all the books they've looked at and leave a neat pile in the right area, but I only actually reshelve them if I'm 100% sure it's the right spot.
  5. hezza12

    hezza12 Well-Known Member

    I think it sounds like you're doing a wonderful job, and I think the library is a place for people of all ages and abilities, so your children should be absolutely welcome, especially given that it sounds like they're so well behaved! I also don't try to put books back unless I'm 100% sure where they came from.. I've been told in the past by librarians that they prefer to reshelve the books because they'd rather they be reshelved properly I don't let my kids pull our very many, and those they do look at while we're there go onto a table in a pile. You could maybe ask a librarian what they prefer, but in all honesty, if they're expecting you to keep two little ones (who have every right to use the library as long as they're following the rules!) in order as well as keeping all the books in their exact place on the shelves, that seems a bit ridiculous!
  6. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Ditto this.

    I took mine from 6m to currently. I always expected age appropriate behavior. Our library had a story time for all ages (different times different ages) and kids were always welcome.
    We spent a lot of time in the kids section, but I also took/take them to the adult section briefly at time to pick out my own books. At that age they were in the stroller, but I have always taken them---I teach them the same things that you do and 90% of the time they do great.

    I think you got a grumpy librarian!!!
  7. Specky

    Specky Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys! They look at so many books that it seems daunting to ask anyone to put away. Maybe I should volunteer some time there.

    How do yo all manage them with taking out books? Taking out a book anputting it back is half the fun for my boys...they only want to look at them 50% of the time. So to keep up with seems impossible. Maybe it's something I need to work on with them.
    Thanks again for your input!
  8. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I've taken my girls since they were probably around 18ish months old. I remember bringing them in the stroller. I would block off an area of the children's section and confine them to that spot. I'd bring over books and toys to play with. Before leaving I remember putting them back in the stroller and then putting everything away. We have some fantastic librarians, but some are grumpy (thankfully only a few). Oh well. I love books and want my girls to love them too, so we go to the library at least once a week.
  9. meganguttman

    meganguttman Well-Known Member

    I haven't gotten to fully read all the responses but I used to work at the library. Guess what? The library technicians (yes they aren't even librarians) are paid to make sure every book is on the shelf according to the dewey decimal system. We fixed the children's room several times a day and it was our JOB! I never expected a parent to put a pile of books away. Actually, I preferred that they left them in a pile so I could put them back the correct way. It is nearly impossible to find a book if it's not in the correct location. Next time you leave, just leave a pile and kindly say to the "librarian" , "we knew it would drive you guys crazy if we put them back in the wrong order!" A lot of OCD type people work at the library. I didn't think I was until I worked there. Now while my kids play in the kids room, I make sure the books are in order. It's compulsive! ;)

    At our library, kids of every age came! Librarians should be encouraging young readers and as long as they aren't ripping pages and coloring on books, they are doing great! PLEASE still take your children! They are learning to love books and will be better readers for it. Do you live in an area that has multiple librarys? We found the one just 10 mins further had a nicer staff and would go there instead.

    A tip for checking out books, assign a bag or basket just for library books. Odds are better that they won't get lost among your personal collection. Also, most libraries have a children's librarian. Their master's degree is in library studies for children and teens. Seek this person out! They will love to help you with anything (and if they don't, they shouldn't have chosen to be a children's librarian!)

    Anyway, a topic dear to my heart. When I finally feel like I have a brain again, I plan on getting that master's degree so I can be one of the nice librarians! :)
  10. hezza12

    hezza12 Well-Known Member

    To answer your question about your kids loving to pull out books, mine did too, so I just worked on letting them know that wasn't what we were there for. Our library has little tables and a big armchair in the kids section, so I would let them grab one or two books, and then they had to sit at a table or in the armchair and look at whatever they picked out before they could get another book out. If they fussed or hollered, we left (we had a few VERY short trips). And our library has the books divided so there's a section of board books: I tried to focus their attention there so they'd have more interest in the books they did find, and I'd be less worried about them damaging the books.
    I'm trying to remember back to age two... I'm pretty sure we didn't do a lot of library trips for books back then (we'd go for the toddler storytime but didn't do much browsing) because I'd get too frustrated. It does get easier the more you do it and the older they get– now we go at least once a week, sometimes more, and they're generally really good.
    I agree that your librarian sounds like a grump. Keep going with the kids... libraries are for everyone!
  11. twinnerbee

    twinnerbee Well-Known Member

    We're lucky that the library by us has a great kids section - they have books on shelves like you'd expect, but also a decent sized collection of board books just placed into three bins near the puzzles and toys so I usually have my kids choose board books from there to check out. I also go online and reserve some so that I can just grab them when we go to the counter to check out. We go to the library once a week and I always go on the day they have story time so my kids have a specific activity to do aside from just looking at books. This cuts down on how many they take out to look at! I also tried to keep an arsenal of rewards for good getting to pick out a DVD or getting a juice box on the way home (they never get juice and for some reason want to see baby einstein videos since I apparently deprived them of them before they turned 2!!) - now the library trip and checking out books is reward enough.

    In the beginning, it was rough to get them to stay in the right room and only take books from certain areas, but with practice it got better and better. The first time I tried it with all 3 kids alone, my librarian made some comments, too, but I think I may have been overly sensitive (it was the whole "hands full" comment that made me feel like maybe they weren't behaving well enough, but she may have just been saying it the same way people always do when they see you out in the world with multiples, lol). I think your kids sounded like they were acting just fine, and if you do what others say by not trying to re-shelve the books, the librarian should appreciate your trying to get them interested in the library at a young age!
  12. Beth*J

    Beth*J Well-Known Member

    I haven't read all the responses, but here is my solution to reshelving books. Go to Walmart (or wherever) and get them each a paint stirrer stick. Put their name on it. Maybe even let them decorate with markers. Teach them how to put the paint stick in the spot they are taking the book from. Put the book back where the stick is. This might be a little tough at the beginning, but I think they could catch on. It sounds to me like you are doing things the way I would and I would continue to take them to the library.
  13. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    OMG! I leave the books on the table :) I would NEVER expect the boys, even at 3, to put them back in the RIGHT place!!
    Also, my library here is NOT kid friendly. So, I know what you mean.

    WE drive out of our way so we can be at one that LIKES kids :)

    Sounds like you guys are doing a GREAT job!
  14. Specky

    Specky Well-Known Member

    Hey guys just an update:
    I bought the boys 'library' bags for them and I am so proud that my boys were amazing! We just focused on putting books in the bag, and when they were full we looked at them and returned them to the elephant for the librarian to put away. They didn't get the whole concept but they loved the activity and the helping and did beautifully!

    I am so proud of them!
    thank you all for your ideas and support! You are an amazing group!
  15. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Yeah! What a nice update. :)
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