LLC Loves libraries! In celebration of National Library Week we’re giving you a look inside some of our favorite libraries. Going beyond the books to the amenities, programs, and features that make them our favorite places. Today we are visiting the Grayslake Area Public Library.
It’s one of those days where you just need something different to do with your little one. Did you know that libraries are a great hang out? There’s a lot you can do there with or without a library card. Today I went to the Grayslake Area Public Library for the first time. I assumed it was new as it was so big, clean, and modern, but it’s been there for over twenty years. To start our tour, we’ll head upstairs. The whole second floor is their children’s department.
A library can be a great experience for you and your little one. Go up the stairs and head to the back (there is an elevator if needed). At this point, I’m guessing your little one will be magnetically drawn to the train table. Luckily, the library prepared for this. They have chairs for parents right there. But there are lots of other things to do as well. Editor’s note: this area changes out frequently, sometimes there is a puppet stage, sometimes there is a general store with food.
There are various toys for little hands, such as bead mazes, building bricks, trucks, a farm set, and tons of play animals. I liked how there weren’t so many toys that a child would be overwhelmed. (Sometimes I’ve found that when there are so many choices, my kids pop from activity to activity without actually doing much playing.)
Have more than one you’re trying to keep occupied? The Peek-A-Book area seems perfect to allow one child to hear a story while you set up your other ones. Peek-A-Book reads your child a story while showing the book’s pictures.
Although you may not have a library card to this library, you can read books there. They had an extensive board books section. I also liked the tubs of high interest books such as Lego, Disney, and Barbie books (and the fact they’re in bins means you don’t have to try alphabetizing the titles to return them to the shelves).
The library had many puzzles for various abilities that can be done at the library as well. Does your little one have a case of the wiggles? There are drop-in events for little ones during the day. Check out their calendar for details.
I loved this library’s technology area. It was very open and inviting. Kids can use tablets or PCs with various games on them. Looking to get away from technology? They also have a shelf full of old-fashioned board games you can play, too.
ALERT: Coming late spring/early summer: The Hub. The Hub will be the library’s new Makerspace. If this word is new to you, a Makerspace is an area designated for kids to freely explore and create. The library’s Makerspace will have various equipment to help with creating, such as sewing machines, a 3-D printer, and even a green screen. This space will be open for all ages to use.
If you are a card-holding patron of this library, there’s lots of fun stuff to check out, such as science equipment and themed backpacks. Below is the insect backpack containing nine insect books, a puzzle, a music CD, and an activity sheet. They also have tons of themed back packs.
Teens have their own special space separate from the kids’ area (even on a separate floor). Their space has room to meet with others as well as computers to play games on or work on homework. There are also board games, teen books, and a whole wall of teen graphic novels. Be sure to check out the library’s programming for teens.
I loved this library. It was colorful, clean, and had a great flow. Here is a handy list of what it has to offer:
- separate floor for the children’s section;
- train table;
- building blocks table;
- toys for toddlers;
- Peek-A-Book audio book section;
- fish tank;
- large selection of board books;
- board games;
- tablets and computers;
- book and activity back packs to check out;
- science equipment to check out;
- separate teen section;
- extensive graphic novel section; and a
- Makerspace — COMING SOON!
What do you love about the Grayslake Area Public Library?