Monday, April 15, 2024

Aurora Library Visit, A Library Card & Introduction

“Matthew, we whisper here, please keep your voice down” – I kept repeating.

I made plans to visit the Aurora Public Library, and we did on Tuesday, the day after the long weekend (Civic Holiday). Honestly, I was surprised by how busy it was. Parents with children, teenagers, adults, and seniors were everywhere we turned.

Our library has everything, including state-of-the-art equipment for research. The librarians were very attentive. I mainly came because my library card had expired, and I also needed access to e-book downloads. Since we still don’t have a second car, virtual library access is well-suited to my needs.

I think we are very fortunate to have this great resource available here in Aurora, especially for a small town.

Secondly, I also wanted to introduce my 3-year-old son to the concept of the library. We brought him a few times to the Chapters in Newmarket, but that is not the same. He already has a collection of over 200 children’s books, and the library is the next step for him and for us to step away from buying more books.

I don’t know if we did well on the first visit. When I came home, all I wanted to do was to rest and laugh. I shall share my laughs with you here today.

His eyes widened at the entrance. He saw children, and I knew what he was thinking then – a playground and more children.

First, Matthew noticed a little girl holding a very popular children’s book, “Chicka Chicka Bum Bum,” a Spanish version of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. He approached her and asked, “What are you reading, girl?” She replied, “funny book,” and shared it with him for a few seconds before taking the book back and leaving.

For the next hour in the library, his goal was to find this book again, mainly because he has one at home and this one also said “bum bum.” While getting the library card, I kept telling Matthew to whisper, as he kept getting excited about things around him and pointing and telling me all about it out loud. I sounded like a broken record, “Matthew, this, that, shhhhhhhh, whisper please.” As soon as we got the card, he was on a mission – elevator first, which he sometimes forgets and calls it an alligator.

In the last minute, we sneaked into the elevator. Inside, there was a father with a little girl, probably Matthew’s age, 3. Again, Matthew tried to make friends. “Hi, hi” – he kept greeting them. Then he followed them to the children’s section. This is where he again started to come up to every child in the room, asking questions and talking. “Matthew, we whisper here, please keep your voice down” – I kept repeating.

Now Matthew spotted a girl with another book he knows, “The Little Engine That Could.” She had a nice pile of books on the shelf ready to take out along with the Engine book. So my dear Matthew came up to her, took the pile of books away, and started to walk away. “Matthew, put that down, these are not yours” – I had to explain.

The father with the girl left the room. Matthew spotted them outside the door, ran away, and started to follow them to the elevator. I was able to convince him to stay on this floor by showing him different Dr. Seuss books, the ones he does not have yet. We were able to sit for a bit and enjoy the busy traffic on Yonge Street from the library window. But not for long. He remembered that he needed to find the Chicka Chicka Bum Bum book.

View of Yonge Street from the Aurora Public Library Window

I told him to ask for it at the information desk, and he did. Unfortunately, all the books were checked out. At this point, I was exhausted and had to bribe him that he can get a treat outside the library. I gave him “Aurora 1945-1965, An Ontario Town at a Time of Great Change” book by Elizabeth Hearn Milner to carry. He carried it to the check out. The same lady that signed me up with the library card checked the book out for us.

So not only did he check every corner of the library, get a ride in the elevator, greet and talk to almost every child that passed by him, make some noises and be loud, ask questions; he also made himself popular as the lady at the checkout said ‘Bye Bye Matthew’. He waved back, smiled at her, and charged outside the door for the treat.

At home, we repeated all he did in the library, and I ensured that next time when he goes to the library he will be walking slowly, whispering, and not taking books away from other children. He can have different books, take them out, read them, and must always bring them back.

I understand” – was his reply.

We shall see next time.

On a side note, the book “Aurora 1945-1965: An Ontario Town at a Time of Great Change” by Elizabeth Hearn Milner, published not very long ago (2007), turned out to be an interesting read. I will discuss it further another time.


Michael Suddard said: August 7, 2011 at 09:30

I used to love going to the Aurora Library when I was three years old. One of my fondest memories was visiting one day a week with my mom in the mornings. We would arrive for Story Time (where a librarian would read a book) followed by a movie in the basement of the old library building (the large brown building behind the current library next to Church Street School is the old library building). Following that my Mom and I would go upstairs to check out the children’s section followed by the adult section for my Mom’s weekly reading. I would check into the children’s programmes at the Aurora Public Library and perhaps you and Matthew could have a weekly date with books.

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: August 7, 2011 at 14:34

Thanks Michael for sharing your story. That is good idea especially for hot summer days, long walks to the pond or Arboretum don’t work very well.


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