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     According to the dictionary, a gift is “something given voluntarily without payment in return.” As a non-profit, libraries don’t charge for their services, but their gift giving goes way beyond paying $0 to read the newest James Patterson thriller. This holiday season, consider how the library is a gift to you in other ways.  

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     One patron, Kallan Rotolo said the library is a gift to moms like her because of how they inspire her and calls them “crucial to the community."  She gets inspiration for crafts and projects that further what her children can learn from each of her children’s favorite books that they check out. She attends programs at libraries all over the county finding picture books and documenting her favorites on her Instagram account, @houstonlibraryfinds.

                When she started her Instagram account, it was originally just a place to keep track of the books her children really liked. “It turned into a place to showcase the craft or experiment they do that helps make the book come alive.” With each book, the Rotolo family does an experiment, craft, or activity. She shared that it helps her children understand what goes on in the story, like an extension of story time.  

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     One book she heard during story time at the Fairbanks Branch and really enjoyed was What Does Bunny See? By Linda Sue Park. It was used during spring time and made the story time craft was Cupcake Liner Daffodils. The Rotolo’s took it a step further and made bunny masks out of cardboard boxes and paints to correspond with the book being about a bunny who is noticing all the colors around him. They do many more projects throughout the year and visit many libraries around Houston.

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     We asked other patrons why or how the library is a gift to them, and many of them mentioned things that Kallan also did, story time, free new book releases, and the amazing crafts they do while at the library. Visit your local library and see how story time can give you the gift of inspiration!

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