Saturday, April 28, 2012

Public Library

Once a week Mabel Watson Payne and her Daddy make a trip to the excellent children's section at the Main Public Library in San Francisco's Civic Center. They return the books they borrowed the week before and pick out a stack of new books to take home. But the picking out also involves a lot of sitting and reading right there at the library to make sure of the best choices. If they go on Wednesdays they also can go to Baby Story Time. This week they were busy on Wednesday so they went on Friday, and since I was visiting on Friday it was my first chance to go along with them.

Mabel showed me first thing how she has learned to use the self-return machine herself, sliding books one by one onto the conveyor belt. She showed me the round room with its color-circle carpet where the hard-page books are shelved at baby eye-level. She had her afternoon snack while reading with Daddy in the big square room where the taller picture books are shelved. At the end we took eleven newly-chosen books to the self-checkout machine where she climbed up on the step-stool and (with Daddy's help) made the red line of light beep for each book when it hit the barcode.

Then we walked home with all the books stowed away underneath the stroller seat and carried them into the house and made a big stack on the floor. And then Daddy and I took turns reading them to her, over and over and over, as often as she wanted.