an adult and child reading a book together on a couch

Not Just for Books Anymore! New Mexico Libraries Offer Toys, Games, and … Power Washers?

Valerie Holloway
Updated on April 1, 2024

Not Just for Books Anymore! New Mexico Libraries Offer Toys, Games, and … Power Washers?

Libraries Across the State are a Valuable Resource for Families and Young Children

Sharing stories with young children can be one of the great joys of caregiving. Whether you’re telling them a beloved family story or reading them the adventures of Marty Moose, sharing stories is great for bonding, supports children’s development, and it can be really fun! 

Even so, we all get in a rut sometimes. Maybe your bedtime stories are starting to sound suspiciously like retellings of Ted Lasso episodes. Or maybe you’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar so many times that you’re starting to dream of eating one apple, two pears, three plums … and eventually one nice, green leaf. Luckily, libraries all over New Mexico are there to help you change up your story rotation, for free! We’ve rounded up some of the top reasons to check out your local library.

Books, of Course
Libraries offer more than books, but access to free books is pretty great! A trip to the library is a perfect way to find new books and stories for your child without breaking the bank. Librarians are expert book-lovers who can recommend lists of books for young children, or can help you find a book that’s just right for your child or your family. Whether you need a book about big feelings or are looking for books that represent New Mexico’s people and lands, libraries can help.

Events and Classes
Libraries all over New Mexico offer regular events, classes and clubs. In most communities, these include storytime events for young children where books are read aloud and children can do hands-on activities related to books. Some libraries also offer bilingual storytime in English and Spanish. But that’s not all! Libraries also offer dance and movement classes, kids yoga classes, LEGO/Duplo classes for young builders, and more! These events and classes are a great place to take your young child if you want to do something fun and educational without having to dig into your wallet. Each community is different, so look up the calendar of your local library to see what they offer!

Libraries of Things
Perhaps the wildest fact about modern libraries is the wide array of non-book things you can borrow. Many libraries now offer items you can check out that range from museum passes to ukuleles to wireless hot spots to, yes, power washers. Many also offer a variety of board games, tools, and other items that families may need occasionally but don’t want to actually buy. You can read about this trend here, and then check out your local library’s stock of small kitchen appliances

Toy Lending Libraries
On top of all the amazing things available through public libraries, New Mexico has special toy lending and resource libraries just for families with young children. Toys can be expensive, and it’s hard to know which toys your baby or child will actually enjoy. Some toys will turn into cherished childhood companions, but more often they’ll get used a few times and your baby’s favorite toy will turn out to be a spoon anyway. That’s the beauty of toy lending libraries! You can check out new and different toys as your child develops and their interests change, without spending a lot of money or having a pile of outgrown toys in your home. Toy lending and resource libraries also offer books, videos, and other resources for families. These special libraries are located throughout the state, including a new one in Lovington!