National Library Lover’s Month: Let’s Celebrate!

Vanessa's daughters choosing books at the Pinecrest library
Picking out books at the Pinecrest Branch Library.

February is National Library Lover’s Month, and it’s the perfect time to revisit our love for reading and renew our appreciation for the buildings that house the books that allow us to escape to a different world.

There was a time when we couldn’t Google the answers to our urgent questions or read a book on our tablets. Paper books were the only way of doing research or indulging in the latest release by your favorite author. So, we’d turn to our local libraries to provide us with sources of knowledge and entertainment. Remember the excitement of discovering the book you wanted was still on the shelf or the stress of making sure you returned it on time? How times have changed!

Libraries have played a vital role in our communities for many years. They remain a place where historic works can be found, where children can learn and connect with their community, where students gather to study, and where families come together to interact and explore.

My daughters, Grace and Gianna, love going to the library. We try to visit every few weeks after school. I usually take my laptop to get some work done while they complete their homework and then look for new books to read. It’s always a fun time and the joyful look on their faces when they discover a new series or book is priceless.

Vanessa's daughter looks for books at a local library
“There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.” — Eleanor Brown

Ways to Celebrate National Library Lover’s Month

Here are a few ways to celebrate this month-long event with your children:

  • Plan a visit to the library and get your kids their very own library cards (if they don’t have one already).
  • Check out the events calendar at the Miami-Dade Public Library and find age-appropriate events for your family. Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing is an example of an event for toddlers and preschoolers that involves stories, songs, and activities. You can also get your kids involved in the Junior Environmental Rangers Program for ages 3-11 or a STEAM workshop/series – this month, they’re teaching children ages 4-7 how to build Robopets! There are many more activities that your family can enjoy — from crafting to storytime and family game days — so be sure to check out the online calendar.
  • If your child is a fan of a book series or a specific author, take a trip to the library to check out some of the ones they haven’t read yet.
  • Make reading part of your family lifestyle. Head to the library as a family once a week or once a month. Explore bookstores together, hunt for a steal on used books, or carve out screen-free time each evening where you all read together as a family.
Shelves full of colorful library books
A shelf full of books at the library to ignite the imagination!

Tips to Nurture a Love of Reading in Young Children  

There are many ways to help encourage your little ones to read more. Here are five tips you can implement.

  • Read to them daily. Starting when they’re infants, get into a ritual of reading age-appropriate books to your child on a regular basis. Then, as they get older, you can begin to discuss what you’ve read to them, which helps them develop critical thinking skills and a more profound appreciation for books. Even once they’re older, continue reading to them until they won’t let you anymore.
  • Make it cozy. Create a cozy, nurturing environment and atmosphere when reading to your kids, so they learn to associate reading with warm feelings of love and cuddling.
  • Visit the library together. Attend an event or just spend some time perusing books with your child and let them pick something that interests them. Then, sit together and read it to them. Or if they’re a bit older and have started reading, you can read it together.
  • Let your kids see you reading. So many of the behaviors and habits our children adopt are learned through observation. Lead by example and spend time reading yourself, so your children start to see it as a normal daily habit.
  • Don’t push them to learn to read. Children learn to read at different paces. If your child is getting frustrated because they can’t read or correctly pronounce a word, you don’t need to force them or help them sound it out. Instead, consider switching back to reading to them or giving them something to read that won’t be as challenging. Remember, keep it light and fun!

Fun Facts About U.S. Libraries

Ready for a little library trivia? I thought these were some interesting facts about our country’s libraries.

  • The Darby Free Library in Darby, Pennsylvania, is the oldest one in the United States.
  • The Carnegie Free Library of Braddock, Pennsylvania, was designated a National Landmark in 2012.
  • The first medical library in the United States was established at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia in 1762.
  • The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. is the largest library in the world. It’s made up of three buildings on Capitol Hill, but the most famous is the Thomas Jefferson Building that houses the iconic Main Reading Room.
  • The Geisel Library on the campus of the University of California in San Diego was named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. Here you can find an extensive collection of his original drawings, notebooks, manuscript drafts and memorabilia.
  • If you’re an architecture buff and a lover of books, be sure to visit the Seattle Central Library in Washington state, which features a diamond-shaped building with glass and steel and an innovative Books Spiral. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library system, located next to Bryant Park, boasts stunning Beaux-Arts architecture. The Billings Public Library in Montana is a sustainable, transparent, light-filled space that was completed in 2015. And the Arabian Library in Scottsdale, Arizona celebrates its natural surroundings with a modern design that features an earthen and stone roof, walls of stone and weathered steel, and roof gardens.

Happy Library Lover’s Month from one library-loving mom to another!


February is also Black History Month! Check out these children’s books to read with your children.