LLC Loves libraries! In celebration of National Library Week we’re giving you a look inside some of our favorite libraries. Going beyond the books to the amenities, programs, and features that make them our favorite places.
I call Fremont Public Library my second home, and my son calls it “The Big Library.” With it’s spacious children’s department filled with activities babies to school age children will like, a variety of programs for all ages, and shelves upon shelves of books as far as the eyes can see, you will fall in love with it too, I promise.
If you haven’t been to Fremont Public Library in a few years, then you are in for a treat. Just last summer in 2016, Fremont Library underwent a massive renovation of their children’s section. They replaced the shelving, painted the library brighter colors, replaced the carpeting, and added all new activities for children. My son loves the changes, and we literally spend at least three hours here every time we come. There is just that much to do here.
Walking in on the first floor, you will see brightly squared carpeting and the youth services desk. Every time I pass by with my son the librarians always say “hello.” They even know my son by name and always try to make conversation with him. It just makes us feel right at home. To the left of the desk you will enter the sprawling area designed for the youngest readers. This is the area my four-year-old spends the most time in.
The first thing I notice when I walk into the area is definitely the shady faux tree with a built-in bench to read under, as well as the windows with bench seats for moms to park themselves in the back with a good book. The library definitely utilizes all their space, as underneath these benches have oodles of toys in bins for kids to play with. I have seen Magna-Tiles, plush toys, plastic bugs with boxes, trains, tools, and more. My son, doesn’t really play with those as much as he does the LEGO table. He literally could spend hours making houses and letters out of the large assortment of Duplo LEGO that people have donated. Since they are donated, new LEGO pop up there all the time. My son gets so excited whenever there is a new LEGO guy or a car.
Also unique to this section is a giant wooden puppet theater and play kitchen. There are shelves on the back with just about every kitchen item you can think about in bins as well as numerous puppets. There are always kids playing with in this area, especially in the summer when camps are at the library. I would definitely say that this is the most popular area here.
While older children play, younger children can be entertained with the chunky bead mazes right in front of the couches. They are very sturdy for new standers and walkers to grip onto. Another perk of Fremont Library for those with very young children is that all of the bookshelves are low to the ground. The new shelves were part of their recent remodel. I love them because my four-year-old can pick out his own books where at many libraries, he can’t possibly see what’s on the higher shelves. If you haven’t been to Fremont Library since the remodel you, probably remember all of the board books piled in a giant blue bin. I always found that made books hard to find. Since the remodel, they have added board books to the regular shelves which make it a lot easier for moms to find new books to read to their babies.
No visit to the Fremont Public Library is complete without a visit to the iPads and computers, which are all equipped with fun games and apps for preschoolers and toddlers. There is a comfy chair in the corner for moms to sit and watch their children play. I literally have to drag my son away from this section. Luckily the computers have 20-minute timers on them which limits kids’ screen times.
While my son loves the early literacy section, there are areas for bigger kids at Fremont Library as well. The library recently added tables with a variety of board games, computers, coloring, computers, and even small LEGO sets. The library also frequently has lures set up for those who are still into playing Pokémon Go.
If you have a chance, be sure to take a part in the programs offered at Fremont Library. Many of the programs, such as story times and yoga, require you to sign up. However, they are truly worth it. I would always set an alarm on my phone to ensure that I would be able to sign up for class when registration opened up. I met so many moms when I took my son to their baby story time each week. In addition to their great story times, there are other special events for kids of all ages. I remember taking my son to a reptile night, Christmas movie nights, tie-dyeing, STEM classes, and other various crafting events. I have seen nights for teens and tweens such as cooking, pizza nights, and crafting as well.
Have a train lover? Fremont Public Library was featured in our Ultimate Guide to Trains in Little Lake County. The North Central ‘O’ Gaugers Model Railroad Club features their trains upstairs at this library on the second Saturday of each month. Kids are allowed to push the various buttons around their themed model trains to make different parts work. After visiting the model trains, be sure to visit the program room downstairs for some wooden train play. My son would spend all day there, too, if he could.
I just can’t really say enough good things about the Fremont Public Library in Mundelein, the recent remodel, and all of the resources offered to children of all ages. The excellent programs, a fantastic children’s section, fabulous librarians, and variety of books make this library a gem to all of Lake County.
What is your family’s favorite thing to do at Fremont Public Library? Tell us in the comments section below.