Picture of woman dressed as the cat in the hat.

Library worker Sarah Bradt,
takes her job very seriously as Cat in the Hat

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to instill the love of reading in your child this summer—without visiting a bookstore packed with expensive knickknacks and endless distractions—check out your local library!

“I love the look kids get in their eyes when books come to life for them,”

  – says library worker and my lovely neice, Sarah Bradt.

At the library, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable, and imaginative library staff like Sarah, who are happy to help you discover and choose just the right books to appeal to your children’s reading interests and reading levels.

To help you and your children feel at home in the library, the librarians can take you on a tour of the library, describe how to find the books you like, explain how long you may borrow the books for, and talk about the extra services their particular library provides—for free!

For an overview of the wide variety of services available in your area, visit your library website. In Ottawa, check out the Ottawa Public Library website at https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en

You can find magic wherever you look, sit back and relax, all you need is a book.

–Dr. Suess

Should I visit online or in person?

While visiting your library website is a useful place to start, visiting the library in person with your child will:

  • Expose your children to a variety of books (fiction, non-fiction, etc.),
  • Instill the regular habit of daily reading i.e. bedtime,
  • Teach your children how to respect and take care of the books they have borrowed,
  • Demonstrate responsibility by storing the library books in one place and returning the books on time for others to borrow and,
  • Teach your children how to make friends and how to behave courteously in a public space.

Try a bit of both! Visit online AND in-person

If you haven’t got a lot of time to visit the library with your child, check out the online services your library offers. Many offer online book ordering and quick pick up. In Ottawa, for instance, the library offers a program called Children’s Book Bundles (https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/childrens-book-bundles). You simply indicate your child’s reading level and theme preferences, and a voila…a librarian prepares a batch of books for you to pick up at your nearest Ottawa Public Library within a few days. Note: You’ll need a library card (free). Visit here to get one: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/your-library-card.


What else do I need to know?boy in striped shirt sitting and reading at a table in the library

Aside from the usual book selections, e-books, audio-books, CDs and video borrowing services, the Ottawa Public Libraries also offer:

  • children’s book club programs from tots to teenagers
  • daily summer reading-along activities
  • free passes for the whole family for museums, parks and recreational activities.

Before starting your library adventure, you’ll need a library card and in most municipalities a library card is free. To get an Ottawa Public Library card, visit any Ottawa library in person or the OPL site online https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/your-library-card.

Enjoy your summertime reading adventures and don’t forget your library books under the bed at the cottage or at the campsite. While many libraries have done away with book borrowing fines, if you don’t return a book you borrowed after a few reminders, you will be charged for a new book. ShShSh…you didn’t hear this from me.

In the meantime, happy book borrowing!


Topics related to this post:


Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is written for parents of children with dyslexia.


If you have comments about this blog or would like to contribute, please contact us at blog@theopendoor.ca

We welcome your blog topic suggestions!


The Open Door
Let's keep in touch

Let's keep in touch

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on new services and Open Door events.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Discover more from The Open Door

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading