Educator Asks:
I have talked with my kindergarteners about going to the public library with their parents to get their own library cards. A few of the parents feel that it is too early for students to be responsible for checking out library books. How should I respond to these comments?

Parent Answers:
Some parents may be concerned that their children are not prepared for the responsibility of caring for library books between school and home. If children go to an extended care program after school there is an opportunity for books to get lost, damaged, or simply misplaced. Parents with these concerns can be encouraged to go to the library with their child, check out the books together, and take them directly home where parents can model responsibility for the books by sharing them with their children and returning them when they are due.

You may want to emphasize the parents' role as their child's first teacher and the powerful impact that sharing books together with their children has in establishing a love of learning and reading. You may want to also highlight that public libraries offer a wealth of information for the community in a variety of formats - books, computers, Internet access, videos, compact disks, books and tapes, and even puppet shows and dramatic readings of storybooks. It is a great place for families to enjoy together.