I moved a lot growing up (and since getting married for my husband’s job) and there were two places we’d check out first to get settled into a new location. First, as people of faith, we’d find a church which would be our surrogate family in our new location. This last time almost three years ago, I was really struggling with hormone issues I didn’t know about and it felt like chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. The playgroup and moms’ group at the church down the road was a place of acceptance and care where I could recharge and connect with other moms a while with my kids under the care of some grandmotherly-type volunteers.
The second place we’d find was a library. I believe libraries, too, are key for a healthy community. It’s a place where you do not have to have anything to offer, and yet be given so much. There you can find tools for life, productivity, and your interests in the self-help section, or just some fun entertainment or serious research. I used to joke that I need a wheelbarrow for every library trip…but now I just got one of these carts and let the book-grabbing spree begin! What most people don’t know is that the library is a richly experiential place too, with clubs, classes, and opportunities for even things like 3D printing or fishing!
When I was a kid, I used to listen to Adventures in Odyssey, a radio broadcast where fictional characters would learn life lessons by climbing into something called the Imagination Station and traveling somewhere, maybe back in time to a historic event, and seeing for themselves. To me that’s what the library is as well. A portal to discovery, awakening the imagination and possibilities.
(By the way, several of my friends work at libraries, and they’re some of the coolest people around because they are passionate about discovery, too!)
I made the following video to share my excitement for our real-life imagination station. In my opinion, it is the best trick in the bag for moms. Rainy day? Whiney kids? Need a change of scenery? Trying to save money but have the urge to shop? Trying to be a minimalist but want all the books and things? The library is the solution! Give your kids an experience, and give them the keys to their own entertainment instead of trying so hard to entertain them yourself! Get them to love books and learning so they can be equipped to cure their own boredom. And that can start even before they can read! Picture books are a wonderful imagination-prompter.
You may be surprised what is waiting at your local library!