Open up little one's world at library

2013-01-09T00:00:00Z Open up little one's world at libraryJennifer Pallay Times Columnist
January 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Baby books are painful to read out loud when you’re a writer. The stories lack cohesion, the wording is awkward and don’t even get me started on the lack of punctuation.

Every time I read a story to my son, I change the words to make it sound better. As soon as he grows out of his ripping paper stage, I plan to write him his own books.

I’m happy that he loves looking at books and he has started to hand them to me to read to him. He never seems to tire of “B is for Bear,” but I decided it was time we take a stroller excursion to the Hegewisch branch of the Chicago Public Library.

I was a little nervous about bringing him to the library. It’s usually so quiet and he’s anything but. It’s neat and tidy. He’s like a tiny tornado. There’s usually a few men reading in the corner and some middle schoolers or adults on the free internet but I don’t see too many babies running, or crawling, around. Still, I knew there was a children’s section and thought I’d give it a try.

The librarians at the Hegewisch branch are always welcoming and helpful. I request a lot of materials via the Chicago Public Library Website, which notifies me once they arrive at my local branch. When I go to pick them up, the librarians usually see me coming and have my items already waiting at the checkout desk.

I’ve run in with the baby a few times to drop things off or pick them up, but this was the first time I was going to actually take him out of the stroller.

After happily greeting him, the librarian pointed us in the direction of the baby board books and, wow, the library had a lot of them. He seems to gravitate toward books with texture, specifically animals that are fuzzy, fluffy or bumpy.

We found a few of them and quietly read them on the floor. He also enjoyed taking other books off the shelves and cruising back and forth between stacks. Nobody asked us to be quiet. Actually, the other patrons didn’t seem to notice we were even there, making the trip a success in my eyes.

I found out that we can check out the baby board books, which means I could have an ever changing library at home. This is great with little ones because they outgrow books so quickly. Not buying new books all the time is an easy way to save money for their future needs.

The Hegewisch branch also has shelves of kid-friendly movies as well as CDs. Of course, if they don’t have what you or your kids are looking for, you can always go online and request anything in the Chicago Public Library system. Just ask one of the friendly librarians. They will show you how.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. She can be reached at

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