The most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday was finding out that I could return library materials to any library in Miami-Dade County, regardless of where it was checked out. OK, stop thinking about how I must lead a really boring life if this was the most exciting news I heard yesterday, and hear me out.
I am a HUGE fan of libraries for kids. I have really fond memories of the public library in Marathon from when I was a kid--I can remember choosing my Bobbsey Twins books, Amelia Bedelia, and Nancy Drew. I was and am a big reader, so I get really excited when the girls are "into" books. We sometimes check out DVDs, books on tape, and videos too. The best part is--everything is FREE. (Unless, of course, you go overdue...which I occasionally do. Yesterday I paid a total of $5 to two different Miami libraries for overdue items. Shame on me! It's really inexcusable, because you can go online and renew almost everything.)
We go to two libraries in Miami frequently: Coral Gables branch, and Coconut Grove branch. While I was returning books to the Coconut Grove branch yesterday, I mentioned something about trying to keep Coconut Grove materials separate from the Coral Gables materials, and the librarian mentioned that it didn't matter which library I returned to. This will save some headaches--no more worrying about keeping everything in separate bags so they are returned to the correct branch!
For those of you who don't visit the libraries in Miami with your kids--you should! I can vouch for the children's rooms at both the Grove branch and the Gables; they've both got really extensive collections, and very helpful librarians. Coconut Grove library has a weekly toddler storytime on Wednesdays, and Coral Gables also does toddler storytime, but theirs requires a reservation. I've also been to the Miami Beach library, which is fantastic, but this was before I was pregnant, so I'm not sure what their children's collection is like. The trick when you're looking for a good library in Miami to visit with your little one is that newer is not always better. The brand new Pinecrest branch, which I hear is GORGEOUS, also apparently has very few books in the children's section at this point. The older Miami libraries have had time to build their collections.