As one of the children’s librarians I have a bunch of fun. Children, in case you aren’t aware, think differently than grownups. But why? Well according to various “child experts” I’ve listened to over the years, there’s a very good and simple reason. Small children don’t have the experience and knowledge to figure things out that grownups do.
For instance, if you as an adult are going on a trip by plane, and you’re told that you’ll need to “change planes” you know that you’ll be landing at an airport, walking down the steps, entering the airport and (hopefully) getting on the next plane at another gate. But a child who’s never flown before wouldn’t know this and would have to try to figure things out with what they know about “change” and “planes.” I once heard a story about a family who was going to move across the country. Their young son was very excited about the move once he knew that he got to take all of his stuff, he’d have a big new bedroom, a backyard, and therefore a dog. As the time for the move drew near and they began to talk of the flight, the little boy didn’t want to go anymore and would cry and scream at the mere mention of it. Finally they asked him why. He answered that he didn’t want to have to walk across the wings from one plane to the other because he was afraid he’d fall. With his limited knowledge about planes he’d decided that changing planes meant…midair and that they would all climb out on the wing then jump to the wing of the other plane to continue their trip. I would cry and scream too if that were the case.
Everyday we see children of all ages for storytimes, After School Center, various programs, class visits or just to pick out books. Sometimes they walk right up to our desk and ask for what they’d like. Sometimes they hide behind mom or dad and get them to ask us. Sometimes they’re crying. Sometimes they’re singing. Sometimes they’re juuuuuust learning to walk and take full advantage of our long aisles to practice, which is about the most fun of all to watch.
Whatever stage your child is in, we undoubtably have programs going on for them. We have storytimes for babies from birth to 5 years of age. We have After School Center for children 6 years old to 8th grade. High school students volunteer their time to help younger students practice their reading and older students with their homework.