Scene: You and your child are at a bookstore/book fair. The bright book display looks magical and your kid wants, I don’t know, ALL OF THEM for a grand total of about a million dollars, give or take. Your little one doesn’t see how they can put ANY books back because all 50 are their absolute favorite.
The begging is about to start. You are going to have to hand out “no’s” like pamphlets to an all-night “no” rave. You can envision 12 different ways a tantrum erupts and your sweet snugglebug -and you, if things really go south- leave in tears.
One way out with smiles and bank accounts intact? The Dallas Public Library app.
Try pulling a sweet little number like this: “OK, you pick out __ book(s) to buy, and I’ll reserve the others you like through the library. Look, I can do it right now.”
Tap. Scan. Reserve. Leave happy. Notice admiring glances from other moms wondering how you managed to have such agreeable children. (Nevermind your kids are going to argue about who opens the car door first; enjoy your two seconds of glory.)
Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small-ish town without a lot of these resources, but I’m an unabashed fan-girl of the Dallas library system. I try to share these 3 SUPER USEFUL tips for the Dallas Public Library (DPL) with fellow moms every chance I get:
- You can reserve any book or media in the system and DPL will deliver it to the branch you choose. Once you are logged in, the website and the app make reservations a cinch. You can keep up with the status of your request and the library will email you when it’s ready for pickup. Mama translation: you do not have to wrangle strollers and preschoolers to browse the aisles unless that’s something you want to do. In the final 3 minutes before Mother’s Day Out pickup, you can zip into your preferred location, hit up the reserved shelf, scan through the self-check out system, and get back en route to the little ones without missing a beat.
- You can return materials to ANY Dallas library location; it does not have to be the library branch where you checked them out. Bonus: several locations have sleeping-baby-approved drive-up bins.
- The DPL app is a bookish mama’s best friend. You can renew all your materials with one touch at whatever inconvenient time the thought is sure to hit you. (Brushing your teeth? Your only date night in three months? Potty training? At least you probably have your phone nearby.)You can reserve items through the app too – that is a personal tried and tested scenario above! I sometimes snap a picture of books and use the app to reserve them later. It’s also come in handy when my kids loved a book from school, when we are checking out the inside cover of a bedtime story and want more titles from the same author, or when my oldest is done with a chapter book and is ready for the next in the series. Tap. Zip. Zap.
Of course, the library offers tons of other resources and activities, from the great suggestions in this recent DMB post to the fun & free summer events for kids of all ages (drama! magicians! animals! science!) with the Mayor’s Summer Reading Events.
Take it from a fan-girl: if you’ve got it; use it. And good luck getting those kids to the car.