Years ago, I was visiting my parents who had recently moved to Rexburg. My mom suggested, “You should go checkout the new library! They just renovated it and it’s pretty great.” At the time I was single, a graduate student, and felt like I lived at the university library. The last thing on my mind was spending more time in a library for fun. About 10 years later, now as a husband and father living in Rexburg, the library has become a resource for my family to instill a joy of reading and lifelong learning.
When I walk into the library with my family, the openness of the entrance helps build my excitement. Will I be going left to the Kid’s Corner or will I be able to sneak off to the right and enjoy the adult section? My children’s excitement, especially my two-year-old happily darting off to the Kid’s Corner, means I am going left. They start looking at the books and exploring the various resources. They get comfy in a chair and open a book. They ask about what they can checkout and take home this week. I love this scene.
As a child, that was not me and it is something that I have wanted for my family. I know how children’s love of reading can influence their learning in school and personal life. It develops their ability to concentrate, sparks their imagination, and opens up a world of possibilities. I love how it builds our relationship as we cuddle to read a book together and talk about what we are experiencing. Madison Library has helped this happen in my family.
When we leave the library, we have a bag of children’s books that get put in a special area in our family room, easily accessible to everyone. My wife and I tend to leave empty handed; however, we have access to digital and audio copies of books through the Libby app. My wife typically ends the day by reading some of her latest book on her phone. I appreciate the audio books that I listen to as I mow the yard or shovel snow. The audio books are also enjoyed by the family as we travel. The love of books can continue whether we are at the library, home, or anywhere in the world.
Madison Library has helped literacy be a focal point in our family and is one of the reasons why we love this area. Some people balk at Rexburg and complain about the lack of resources and things to do. To them I would say, like my mother did to me, “You should go checkout the library!”
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