Thursday, September 10, 2009

library letdown

I had big plans for us and the public library.  I envisioned me toting my darling baby into the library weekly and curling up together and reading.  I thought for sure I would see other sweet mothers instilling a love of reading in their youngsters.  And of course, I was delighted that it is a free way to get out of the house and entertain Parks for a while.  I thought we were in for a lovely afternoon together...

It was a rainy day so I scooped Parks up and off we went to the library.  I was so excited for our first trip to the library together.  I walked up to the lady sitting behind the desk and said in a chipper tone, "Hi, I need to get a new library card".   She replied in a monotone, I'd-rather-be-anywhere-but-here voice, "Fill out the white form on the table." library card...check! 

I proudly pushed the stroller to the children's section and was looking for brightly colored Baby Einstein and Karen Katz books.  Hmmm...I didn't see them.  What I did see was books that looked so grubby and dirty you should have to put plastic gloves on to pick them up.  I was determined that I would not leave the library without reading at least one book to Parks so I tried to pick the cleanest one I could find that hadn't been chewed on or had food stains on it and we sat down in a chair.  He wasn't very interested in the book because there were some unsupervised children running around.  Finally, I caved and let him play with the toys they have at doctor's offices that were in the children's section. He will probably have 10 different colds in the next week but tis life with a small child, right? I did apply Purell liberally immediately after we left.  

I decided it was time for Plan B.  We left the children's section and went to look for some child rearing books I've been wanting to purchase.  Juggling a wiggly Parks in one arm and trying to type on the reference computer with the other arm was a challenge.  I finally managed to jot down the reference number of a book I wanted and tried to find it.  FAIL! I could not find the book, Parks was starting to whine and anyone who knows me knows I have a very low tolerance for making a scene, especially in a library!  I knew we needed to leave and fast! I plopped him in the stroller and we left.  

I really don't think I'll go back to the library.  My dreams of frolicking happy children and mommies reading lovely, beautiful books to their babies and encouraging early literacy were shattered today.  I think all we got from our trip was a plastic card and probably a cold.  Oh well...I guess I'll just stick to the six books we own and read over and over and over again.


Megan said...

Try taking him to B&N or Borders. They have great kid sections with fun toys. Noah loves the trains :) The downside is you have to buy things if you want to take them home, but the upside is that everything is new and clean and you can still read to him there!

Gillian said...

I gave up on the library a long time ago. Disgusting. Check out You request books in (very) good condition. You can even make it so you only accept books from smoke free or pet free houses. That way you and your son will be happy and healthy. :)

Jaime said...

Don't worry. This was my experience exactly. My plan nowadays is to go to B&N when Mark can keep the kids. I leisurely seek out one new book and usually get a coffee. I enjoy reading to Grace when she is snug as a bug under her covers before bed. Clean. Lavender scented. WAY better than the nasty library.

Betty said...

Mallory - You're going to hate my dissenting opinion, but here goes. I was raised going to the library every week. The books were surely just as dirty in 1958 as they are now, but I don't believe they made me sick. You might be going to the wrong branch. The Pungo/Blackwater branch where I go is clean and the people who work there are cheerful and helpful. So are the nice folks at Great Neck. On the other hand, the people at Kempsville Branch are grumpy and bureaucratic. My suggestion: Log onto the iBistro site and order your library books online. The library will notify you via email when your choices are at your local branch. Take Parks to the "Read to your Baby" circle meetings and enjoy. But don't fall into the trap of B&N and their cushy chairs and overblown prices. The people who plant the garden always get their hands dirty.
Betty Mills