Published on: 17 February 2015
Author: Lindsey Greenwood
After reading an inspiring letter by Lindsey Greenwood in a Yorkshire newspaper, we asked her to blog about her experience of libraries, Bookstart and sharing books with her little boy.
Libraries have always been an important part of my life and never more so than over the last year and a half, since the birth of my son.
We are very fortunate that our local library has a huge, well-stocked Children's section, not to mention a very well-attended Rhymetime, where parents and grandparents get together with their toddlers to sing songs and read stories aloud.
I discovered this activity quite by chance, when I joined a group called Buggymovers, an exercise class for new mums, who also meet at the library.
It wasn't long before my son had his own library card - at three months old - and our local librarian gave him his first set of free books via the Bookstart scheme. I'm really not used to receiving something for free (without a catch), so was thrilled to be given a bag of books to keep. One of these, called What a Busy Baby, has been a firm bedtime favourite ever since.
Although, if I hadn't been at my library, chatting to the staff about how wonderful it was that my son could borrow up to 15 books at a time (with no late fees), I would never have realised Bookstart even existed.
Thank you Bookstart, and thank you local library! Together you're enriching children's lives all over the country.
Over the last year alone, my son has been fortunate to have borrowed over 150 books, averaging at a retail cost of £6 each. In order to replicate the library's lending service, I would have had to pay almost £1,000. Just consider what that could equate to over the course of his childhood and it's easy to see why I appreciate these services so much.
Although the effect of reading those books with my son is priceless, the positive impact on his development is clear:
His fine motor skills, from turning pages and lifting flaps.
His hand-eye coordination, as he points to the pictures.
His fast-growing active and passive vocabulary.
Not to mention the complex cognitive and social benefits.
But let's not forget the simple joy of reading and sharing a book.
After all, they aren't just pages with ink on them; a good book transforms the way we experience the world, whether we are an infant or a 39-year-old mum.