We went a couple of weeks ago to the library on Rikhardinkatu with my daughter to have some one-on-one time, mainly because it was open on a summer Saturday and my daughter wished for us to read a lot together.
I was pleasantly surprised by the selection: a fair amount of variety in kids books in Finnish, Swedish and English but even in some other languages. I found that this library had a far better selection in the books in English than the ones closer to us, where there are approximately two shelves of books in English and even they are pretty dated.
But the best part was that the library had loads of board games that are suitable even for toddlers. Rikhardinkatu also seems to organise story times and other programme in English, Swedish and Finnish. What a great place to go to on a rainy day!
Sadly this library did not have a comfy reading area as the most libraries in Helsinki do. The nicest kids area in a library that I know of was in Vuosaari (that also has a good selection of kids books in English). Hope it is still there as I haven’t been to the Vuosaari library for over a year.
I just realised that I went to a library without even checking other than the kids part out! Surprising for somebody who loves books. In my defence, my parents love books too, and as my Mum buys most books, I just get my books from her. If there is a certain book I want, I order it online, pick it up at a counter in one of the nearby libraries, and drop it off again at a library that happens to be conveniently on my way that day. I love not having to go back to the same library!
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It is so nice to hear of people who still use a library. Libraries bring back very nice memories to me.
Did your daughter pick out a book in the end?
Kukolina, she sure did. I have a rule where kids can each choose 2 books each on every visit, otherwise we’d end up carrying have the library home. And then I usually pick something “educating” 😉
Btw, when my daughter wants to go to a library, she asks if we can go “book shopping”.
That is a good rule you made up! Sorry but how old is your daughter?
She’s 3, my son turns 2 in in a couple of months.
Oh they both talk but they are still very young! You are never bored… 🙂
Nope, never bored but sometimes fed up 😉 My son talks a lot but there is not many sentences you can easily understand, he mixes English, Swedish, Finnish and his own language (which sounds a bit like Thai to me, really). He’ll get there.
I am just off to the library with my eldest 🙂 Libraries are great, but an online catalogue and ordering service is a great boon for those with young kids. The libraries in Singapore have that, too. You pay $1.50 to have the librarian find it and set it aside for you to pick up.
Hope you get a chance to check out the other sections of the library before too long!
B, that sounds really good, I just love that libraries have also developed their services!
I have a pile of unread books (that my Mum has bought for herself) to read so maybe good to stay away for a while… 🙂