Shhh! Stop Saying Libraries Are Dying!

Photo of scolding librarian

There are many, many things that I dearly love about working in a library, about providing children’s services and that absolutely thrill me about my decision to pursue my post-graduate education in library science. But people telling me…

“That’s what Google is for.”

“Nothing relevant is even in print form anymore; even books can be digital.”

“Once everyone owns a Kindle no one will even go to the library.”

“You chose, like, the Latin of professions.”

…are DEFINITELY NOT among those many, many things. (Don’t even get me started on, “You need a degree for that?”)

Because the truth is, libraries are not just giant warehouses full of musty, dated books, just like librarians are not brittle, grumpy ladies who wear ugly cardigans and cat-eye glasses on chains and shush you from on high through lipstick-stained teeth. (We are really more ChapStick people.) Continue reading

Lend & Learn Toy Libraries are Open Again!

Lend and Learn

Your wait is over! Lend & Learn Toy Library locations have been closed for the summer months and reopened their doors August 27th.

All Boone County parents with children ages birth to three years are invited to come explore educational toys, visit with the on-site Early Childhood Specialist, and browse resource materials on topics from learning activities to toilet training.

Families can enjoy a large, safe, inviting space to play with their children and visit with others. There’s an infant-toddler area that provides a protected play space for the youngest children and their parents. You can even check out  developmentally appropriate toys for your children for free. Continue reading

Cub Hub Provides Support for Student Parents


School is back in full swing, and it feels like our to-do lists are taking over the world. If you are both a student and a parent, your workload is growing exponentially. Don’t pull out your hair; Cub Hub to the rescue!

Cub Hub is a collaborative project of ParentLink, the Student Parent Center and the Association of Parenting Students. This service allows parents to dig into their school work while their children enjoy educational playtime. Parents focus on their work in a study space equipped with computers and WiFi knowing their children are nearby and supervised by Service Learning StudentsContinue reading

Support Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Health

Raising socially and emotionally healthy children can be frustrating. There are times when your child is throwing a tantrum—a loud, embarrassing, scream fest of a tantrum—and you want to throw in the towel. Every parent has been there, red-faced, trying to pry a toy out of your two-year-old hoarder’s hands, or asking the boss to leave early because a child has bitten a classmate. You can’t just quit this whole parenting gig, and you really want to do what’s best to help your child grow into a kind and compassionate adult. But what the heck are you supposed to do? Your mother will have one opinion, your neighbor another.

Luckily, you can turn to the professionals. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning has prepared practical materials for parents of preschoolers on hot topics like these. Continue reading

Homeschooling Resources From Your Library

At the Children’s Desk we get a lot of questions about homeschooling. Some parents are researching the pros and cons of homeschooling instead of sending their child to public school, while others have already made the decision and want to know how to begin. We also get a lot of requests for materials and ideas for curriculum support. For homeschooling information and resources, the library is a great place to start.

  • Do you need to know what Missouri requires for home education? Check out the Home School Legal Defense Association’s (HSLDA) summary analysis of the homeschooling law in Missouri.
  • For curriculum help and teaching activities, we have a number of books available for check out, like Cathy Duffy’s “100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum,” as well as the magazines Practical Homeschooling and Home Education (available at the Columbia Public Library in the children’s area).
  • You can even help your child take classes online through your library! All you need is a library card to access LearningExpress Library, a database that includes courses and practice tests in reading and math, as well as standardized test preparation tools. You can also explore Universal Class, which offers continuing education courses taught by real instructors in subjects like language arts, math, science and history.

Our librarians have collected all of this information and much, much more in our homeschooling subject guide. If you are a homeschooling veteran and know of additional resources we should include, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!