As a voracious reader, one of the first things I do when I move to a new place is get my library card. I’ve always loved the library, but in my new role as a full time mama I’m realizing just how awesome it really is.  This week The Bear checked out his first books.  This kid LOVES to read, especially books about trucks.  The book in the picture above had to be returned after a couple of days because the plastic cover proved too much temptation for little toddler hands.  We’re sticking with board books for now.  How do I love the library? Let me count the ways.

1. It’s FREE!
2. story time for kids
3. books, magazines, and movies
4. the queue
5. It’s close.
1. It’s FREE!  Totally, completely free.  Just bring your stuff back on time or recheck it online and you won’t ever have to pay a dime.  Free, air conditioned entertainment can’t be beat.
2. Story time for kids.  Most libraries have some sort of story time for children.  Dallas libraries do a really great job of this.  We go to story time at the Lochwood, Lakewood, White Rock Hills, and Northpark Mall branches all the time.  They have different offerings for each age group from birth on up.  The Bear LOVES it.  He runs around, claps his hands, and has the best time.  We even found a story time at the library in Vail, CO, and visited while we were traveling.  And again, it’s FREE.
3. Books, magazines, and movies.  You can borrow any of these, as well as books on CD for long road trips, CDs to listen to, and so much more.  A lot of libraries are even starting to carry ebooks.  All FREE.
4. The Queue.  The might be my favorite thing about the library.  You can go online with your library card, search for the books or movies you want to read, and add them to your list.  You will be placed in line if there are more requests than there are books available, and then notified when the book is yours.  The best thing about it is that the books you request will be sent to the branch you choose, and held with your name on them for a week.  This is so great for when you get a book recommendation from a friend, magazine, or blog, and want to remember to read it.  Put it on your queue and it will soon be yours.  Awesome.  And FREE.  
5. It’s close.  In most places there are multiple library branches, so there is bound to be one close to you.  We have 2 within 5 minutes and another 2 within 15 minutes.  We are so spoiled.  
Do you make the most of the library?
Does your local library do anything special?