I get this comment alot. I know my boys are readers. They love to read. Reading isn't always about what book they are reading, but the experience...
We visit the library once a week. It's a scheduled 'activity' you would say. I have heard a few comments from time to time about library books - yuk - germs from houses we don't know WHERE THOSE BOOKS HAVE BEEN!! I don't care where they've been. I'm getting free books as often as I want. I'm not a germophobe. I don't carry hand sanitizer in my bag. My kids wash their hands when I think to remind them. They're fine.
I have been reading to the boys every night since they were about 2 years old. Probably earlier, but that's when it really was a routine. I still read to them every night. There's independent reading in there now too, but I will always finish off with a story for them.
First off, buy the special library bag for 1.25. It makes the kids feel important and that their special treasure books go with them. I end up carrying the bags most of the time after they fill up, but they are very sure to know which bag of books belongs to them.
Most definately, sign them each up for their own library card. At our library, the KID card is a kid theme card, as opposed to a boring adult one. It makes the kids feel VERY important.
Don't put limits on how many books one can sign out. I usually give them a guideline of what the bag can hold. The only thing I limit is how many DVD's they can sign out. The late charges on those are wicked!
Find the children's section and really show them where different book genres are - my youngest LOVES humour and picture books with funny illustrations. My oldest LOVES non-fiction books.
some libraries have fantastic comfy seating for kids....
Don't worry if your kids are 'stuck' in a certain type of series. They'll eventually get tired of it after reading 10 or 12 of them...just like you do. Don't 'force' your child into reading a certain type of book. This is a total turnoff. Remember high school novel studies? Yup. Really let them choose on their own and load up that bag.
One amazing thing your child can do with that library card is search the online library catalogue for books and put HOLDS on them. We have quite a few library branches in Calgary, so, for instance, Ethan will search for dinosaurs (yes, STILL) online and put holds on whatever books he's interested in. The books are sent to your branch when they are available and then...get this...the BEST part is getting the phone call that a book has arrived at the library and is available for pickup. And then the even BESTER part ( quoting Cam) is finding the books on the hold shelf with his own name on there!
see the hold shelf in the back of this photo? all the little papers with people's name on them? jackpot of excitement for my kids.
When it's time to checkout, go to the self checkout counter if your library has it. It takes a little longer, but the kids love to do it. They use their own library card, they check out their own books that they chose on their own, and put them back into their own library bag. Sometimes a book doesn't check out properly and you need a librarian's assistance. Well, watch them puff up their chest as you send your child to the main desk telling the lady that there was an error with this book and it won't sign out. Pretty soon, your child 'owns' the library.
In part 2 of my reading post...I'll explain some of the wild and wacko things I do when reading aloud to my kids. Not really wild and wacko, but stuff that makes reading time fun and interesting....