July 23: Boom! Pow! Bat Day at the Library!!

Did you know that it's the 75th Anniversary of the Caped Crusader, also known as Batman? I didn't either, until today. Aunt Amanda invited us to the Bat Day at the library, knowing that we have a full-blown Bat Fan who lives under our roof. He went in complete costume today. :) 

And as far as libraries go, this one was AWESOME! It's the Westlake Porter Library, and it's a separate entity from the local library systems. The library is complete with a Cafe and Gift Shop inside, and you're allowed to bring in your own food and beverages {coffee!!} to enjoy anywhere in the library. Not only is it enormous, but it has an proportionately large children's section, complete with a train table, toys, puzzles, board games, crayons and paper, dress up/imaginary play stuff, computer games, and a bristle block table {although those are as ancient as my childhood, I had to Google "blocks with tiny spikes that stick together" to find the name, and as always, Google delivers}. It was partially walled off to prevent noise from traveling is my guess, but not once while we were there did I feel like the children were being a nuisance simply by being children.

I was thrilled to finally find a library where I felt genuinely welcome with kids. Since Clayton has tutoring at the library, we have spent a fair amount of time there. Although the kids seem to enjoy looking for books and playing, it's an incredibly stressful time for me. This is probably partly due to past traumatic experiences at the library, which include but aren't limited to: 

  • Being kicked out due to a screaming, running, defiant toddler while also trying to carry a carseat, diaper bag, and bag of library books. This one experience was a gem. Imagine me, red faced with embarrassment as I get with my Irish/Polak complexion, in a stand-off with my screaming son--him on one side of a book stack, me on the other, desperately trying to figure out how to catch him and run the heck out of there before more damage was done. Then imagine a librarian coming over to me and saying, "You really need to leave…He can't be screaming like that in the library." Really??????? I hadn't noticed. Then imagine me not stepping foot in said library for at least a year.
  • The time that I stepped away from my children, who were playing calmly and quietly, for a matter of two minutes to find a book to read myself on a road trip, only to glance to my left and see my school-aged son {same one, just older now, mind you} lapping the stacks and laughing, while he encouraged his siblings to do the same. He's much harder to catch this time, and once I got him, I had to get the other two, as well. And then imagine me trying to keep them still long enough to have them all corralled at once. Imagine that this process takes a miserably long while, and I'm veeeeryy red in the face. Then imagine a librarian coming up to me towards the end of the herding process and saying, "Oh no… There is absolutely no running allowed in the library…" Again, really????? There are certain obvious facts that you should not state to an overwhelmed mother. Then imagine me never wanting to come back to the library ever again, at least with certain children.

So, there's that. But then I also feel like they have a children's section, and toys, but the kids can't really PLAY with the toys. Any play that involves speaking above a whisper, laughing, or noise of any kind, that is. The entire time we are there, I feel like I need to SHHHH!!! them and correct them and remind them to BE QUIET!!, to which they respond, "Mom, we're just playing!" or "Mom, we're just being kids!" And on some level, that breaks my heart. Because they are just kids, but somehow that's not okay there. Or I feel like it isn't. So it was really nice to find a library where it was okay, even encouraged, that they played and explored and were kids.

They also had a TON of books for sale, newer even and in excellent condition, and I was happy to find a copy of a book I'd renewed ad nauseam but never finished and a copy of the 2014 Writers Market Guide, which I've heard is must-have if you're seeking to get published, each for $1. That's a STEAL considering the $30 cover price {each!}. I'm excited to dig into them sometime soon. Anyone want to pay me to blog or write a book????? :)

Have you had any traumatic library experiences? Do tell. :)