We have been using the public library system(s) a lot lately. The week of Halloween, we were at our local branch of the Alexandria City library four days in a row (story time for Eleri, Spanish story time for both kids, story time for Soren, costume parade). We use the Fairfax County library system a lot as well (multiple branches nearby, compared with just the one Alex. City location near us). We were going at least once a week to some library or other during the summer, plowing through Soren's 100 books, and it almost seems as though we've only increased our patronage since the start of the school year. Go figure.
I love it. I love that the kids love the library and consider visits there to be a treat. The children's librarians at Beatley are incredibly friendly (I'm not sure that the FCLS branches we tend to visit actually have dedicated children's staff), and there is always a nice variety of programs available between the two library systems.
We also rent lots of DVDs. That's where we got our start with the whole Signing Time series, and recently we've rented a couple of Schoolhouse Rock collections, some Magic Schoolbus episodes, and a few Dr. Seuss cartoons. Just yesterday we brought home our first Reading Rainbow DVD (and yes, that show totally still holds up, today).
Soren and I have been reading chapter books at bedtime. We've read some Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), some E.B. White (Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, reading Trumpet of the Swan now) and some Laura Ingalls Wilder (Farmer Boy and Little House in the Big Woods, about halfway through Little House on the Prairie at present). This is relevant to the post because all of them were/are books we've borrowed from the library. I'm not sure how much he retains yet, but it's fun. He and Tom are going to start The Hobbit sometime in the next few months, too. This is something I'd really looked forward to - being able to read chapter books with the kids, a chapter or two per night - and I'm really enjoying it. I suspect it'll get even better as they get older. I still eagerly anticipate the nights I can read the same books to both of them.
Anyway. Yay for literary kiddos. Yay for a seemingly endless supply of free books at our disposal. Consider this my endorsement for supporting your local library.
Now, what else did I say I was going to write about soon?