Library can be part of reading options with youngsters

By Christina Kelley

It’s never too early to start reading to children. I started reading to my son when he was still in the womb.

I checked out picture books from the library and my husband and I would take turns reading aloud. After he was born, we read him classic board books like “Goodnight Moon” by Margret Wise Brown and “I Am a Bunny” by Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry.

Very early on, he learned to turn the pages all by himself. I would get the page started and he would grab it and turn it the rest of the way.

He just turned 4 and still loves for us to read to him. Each night before bed, he chooses at least one book that we read aloud together.

He has not yet learned to read, but can remember large parts of the book and often recites part of the book at the appropriate time thanks to many, many re-reads. My daughter is 10 months old and also loves books.

Her favorites right now are what I call “touchy-feely books” that have various textures like soft material “fur” on a dog, bumpy textures for a ball, etc. I touch the texture first and then I take her hand over the texture so she can feel it, too.

Last week, she started touching the textures on her own. I think it’s safe to say that my kids love books.

While we have a lot of books at home, I’m thankful that our library has thousands more that we can borrow and return. In the children’s section of the library, we have bins of board books, even the “touchy-feely” kind, that are at toddler-level so kids can explore the books themselves.

When my son gets to visit the library he likes to pick out nonfiction dinosaur books, “paint” on the game computers, work puzzles, visit the Russian tortoise Bartholomew and see the big “dinosaur bone,” also known as Henry Moore’s “Large Arch.”

Not only can you borrow our books, but you can also bring children to one of our many story times and be read to by Miss Jodi. These story times are offered many times per week and are broken down into the following age groups: babies (0-13 months), 1-2, 3-5 and our famous Milk and Cookies Story Times on Monday evenings for ages 1-2 and 3-8.

All story times are first-come, first-served with tickets available 30 minutes before the start of the program. So be sure to get here early and explore everything the Bartholomew County Public Library has to offer.

Christina Kelley is the teen services librarian at the Bartholomew County Public Library and be reached at