We do a lot of visits at the library. Youth services mean we talk to mum's with new babies, we talk to toddlers and their families, we talk to kinder's and child care's...then it's schools, primary and secondary. Our aim is to get children loving books and reading, and hopefully they'll love them when they are an adult.

Recently I had a Prep visit. We did the usual talk about what is at the library....showing them that we not only have books, chapter books and information books, but audio books and graphic novels, we have kits (audio book and book all in one) and magazines, CD's and DVD's, computers and catalogues, CD-ROM's, Garfield comics and Begin to Reads.

There was a lot of appreciative oohs and ahhs.  Especially when we walked all the way to the non-fiction area and discovered the dinosaurs.  You can never go wrong with a dinosaur.

We then searched the catalogue- found where the information books on dogs and horses were - not too far away from the dinosaurs. And had a quick look at a few of our databases- with a push or should I say suggestion for them to write their own book review (with help from a parent or teacher) for our children's site.

Back in the children's area we covered topics ranging from making sure books have a suitable place to be kept ( not simply tossed under their beds),  having clean hands when reading (you should see the condition of some of our books on return- you would cringe), and keeping books out of the way of very young children (babies love to gum books).

And keeping them away from pets. We have people in all the time with ripped and torn books, with a 'I'm sorry but my puppy / kitten and even rabbit got to it'.

The talk got onto keeping books away from pets- gold fish because they would make the books wet - and one boy said that if you had a crocodile that would be very troublesome because crocodiles like books so much that he would eat you to get to the book.

We decided it would be best to keep books away from ALL pets, just in case.

Then I did a quick recap- what does the library have? Yes some of them remembered CD's and some remembered computers, one remembered dinosaurs - but a lot were very excited to tell me that the library has chairs---and shelves---and tables.

We do give them a lot of information at these visits- and often it is too much to take in all at once.

Afterwards I was shown that the grade were writing about their visit and drawing pictures. There were a lot of pictures of me (even one where I had lovely long blonde hair!) reading them a story with a huge smile on my face.

And that is the job- make it a happy experience.

A few days later one girl came in with her mother. She was borrowing some magazines and a few graphic novels, because 'Vicki had shown her where they were.'

That makes it all so worthwhile. The library is not a strange alien place, it is friendly and inviting and offers up some amazing adventures just waiting to happen. I'm just so glad to be a part of the experience. Long blonde hair and all.



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