Using the Ann Arbor District Library for school and family field trips

. September 1, 2017.
Students have access to science kits 
at the Ann Arbor District Library. Photo credit - AADL.
Students have access to science kits at the Ann Arbor District Library. Photo credit - AADL.

With five locations across the city, the Ann Arbor District Library is one of the most accessible and diverse field trip destinations in the area. Schools, homeschool groups and families can all benefit from the many resources and programs that the library system provides. Since September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, it’s a good time for families to visit and apply for library cards.

Opportunities for schools

Sherlonya Turner, youth and adult services and collections manager at the library, says that the library is always happy to welcome school groups for field trips. In particular, the library has a goal to host every second-grade classroom in the district each year. Second graders can receive their library cards and check out books during this trip. The field trip, funded by Friends of the Library, targets this age group because second graders are just transitioning out of being read to and are ready to take more ownership for their reading.

Children can learn about art and artists at the library. Photo credit - AADL.

Children can learn about art and artists at the library. Photo credit – AADL.

The library is a great destination for any age, though. Kindergarten students can have stories read to them by a youth staffer, and high school students can participate in a storytelling unit, which helps them connect storytelling and writing. Classes can also have tours of the library, receive help with themed research projects and instruction on how to use the reference resources. Turner stresses that “the library is very flexible and can connect with almost anything that teachers are doing in the classroom.”

Enrichment for families

The Ann Arbor District Library isn’t just for teachers and classes, however; it’s also a perfect place for families to visit on the weekends or after school. One place for families to start is with a storytime, which are offered every weekday for various age groups. Some storytimes are sensory based, some incorporate both stories and music, and some are oriented toward family groups. Storytimes give children a chance to interact socially with peers, hear new stories and authors, and connect reading with a positive, fun experience.

Families can participate in various art and science classes. Photo credit - AADL.

Families can participate in various art and science classes. Photo credit – AADL.

In addition to storytimes, library events and classes provide excellent enrichment opportunities for families. From art to science to language, there’s a class for every interest and age level. For example, kids can enjoy a nature walk, dissect owl pellets, learn about famous artists and create their own sculptures. Turner says that the goal is to “create experiences where kids have a good time and want to come back to the library and ask their parents to bring them back.” The full list of storytimes and classes is available on the library website, jump.aadl.org, and in the Jump brochure, available at any of the library locations.

Even if you don’t join a class or a storytime, the library offers plenty of fun and learning with books, art tables, puzzles, games, and a popular fish tank and fairy door at the downtown location. With so many ways for kids to learn and grow,  plan to visit your local library branch soon.

For more information and to find your
closest library branch visit aadl.org.