Library Column for August 1, 2018

@ Your Library

    The International Falls Public Library three times a year in cooperation with the Read Aloud 15 Minutes foundation emphasizes the need for every child to be read to every day for at least fifteen minutes. The theme this past month has been on disconnecting from devices to connect with fellow humans whether young or old.

    Many studies have highlighted a problem of learning readiness in this country and thousands of organizations are working to prepare children to make the transition from home to school to work and career. Reading aloud is the ‘single most important activity’ parents can do to prepare their child for reading and learning throughout life.

    Recent research has shown that even by age 3, a gap shows up between children whose parents read to them and those who do not. Infant brains between birth and age 3 are like a sponge that soak up words shared through interaction with caregivers. The goal is to have every child read to fifteen minutes by every significant adult in their life every day beginning at birth (or even before). Even adults who don’t feel very comfortable reading aloud should start as soon as possible reading aloud as practice may not make perfect, but practice will yield improvements. You can improve at anything you do regularly including reading.

    Reading regularly isn’t just for young kids. Everyone benefits from reading and being read to (or listening to) books. Older children also benefit when they are read to as the human brain is capable of hearing and understanding at a level above our reading level which in turn helps the reading level improve. Reading at a sixth grade reading level or above enables anyone to learn just about anything they desire. Reading isn’t quite like riding a bike. Once you learn to read you can always read, but without doing it regularly you will lose some ability to understand more advanced texts.

    What you read isn’t as important as the fact that you read or listen to books and other materials regularly, preferably daily. So grab a book or magazine and always have it with you to fill in time waiting. You can also download ebooks and audiobooks onto phones to read or listen whenever you have a moment or two.

    Anyone with a library card in good standing in Koochiching County can access free digital material for phones and most tablets. In fact, the library will be giving away three Nooks to summer reading participants in August. Read at least 20 minutes a day each day in August and come to the library before 4pm on Wednesday, August 22 to turn in your reading log or register your reading at to be eligible for the drawing for a free Nook. We will draw and announce winners of the Nooks (one for kids, one for teens and one for adults) just before the unveiling of the last season sculpture at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, August 22.