We will let you in on a little secret. We have our own Mother Goose at York County Libraries. Paula Gilbert, our director of children and youth services, has been igniting the imagination of children for three decades through rhymes, stories, finger plays, and song. Parents who grew up coming to story time with Miss Paula have returned with their own children.
Why? Because just like the rhymes Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, and This Little Piggy have been passed on through generations, going to story time at the library has become family tradition for many. Paula and the many dynamic youth services staff members who have joined her efforts continue to foster a shared love of reading and imagination in the children and families that gather.
Now, whereas it is not unusual to spot our storytellers wearing costumes, we do have to confess that Paula does not always dress as Mother Goose. However, she did very publicly dress as Mother Goose when she had the honor of being Grand Marshall of the York Halloween Parade. That image of Paula smiling and waving from the convertible driving the parade route is forever ingrained to memory, as are the many lessons she has imparted over the years.
Here are just a few things we have learned from Paula:
- It is never too early to start reading to your child. Babies love the sound of your voice. Read.
- A parent is a child’s first teacher, and our libraries are here to support you in that role through story times, book recommendations, and learning opportunities.
- Read to your children daily. Not only does it introduce them to language, it creates a special bond and wonderful memories
- Find books that interest your child to ignite a lifelong love of reading. You may read and re-read every book we have on dinosaurs until you know them by rote; however, that repetition for your child will yield dividends.
- Feel comfortable asking for help finding age appropriate books. Our librarians love suggesting great titles.
- Visit the library often! Come often to borrow more books, attend story time, block programs, and more!