Making the Most of the Library

At the Library by ashley, on Pix-O-Sphere

We love the library and at any given time have between sixty and one hundred books checked out for our family. The library is a great tool for the homeschooling family and can save a ton of money as well. The library stops being a great tool when you are saddled with late fees and missing book charges. Since I don’t like wasting money I created a system to make the library work for us.

  • Using my reading lists I reserve our books online. The library sends an email when the books are ready. I try to pick up books once a week so I don’t have a variety of due dates.
  • When I pick up the books I allow the children to find a few extra books they would like to check out. I am able to help them navigate the library because my books are ready to go, no searching for me.
  • All our library books are stored in a central location in our home, “the book basket.” Our basket has wheels so the kids can move it around the house if they want to read in a different location.
  • I bring tote bags to carry my books from the library to the car. I am sure we would drop (and possible lose) a book or two if we didn’t have our totes.
  • The library sends me an email three days before the books are due. This gives me plenty of time to make sure all our books are ready to be returned. If my library didn’t have this service I would set up a reminder on my computer to let me know the books are due.
  • Libraries have more than books! We routinely check out educational dvds, read magazines, and utilize the computers at our library. Most libraries also have story times, crafts, and other educational programs. With summer approaching many libraries start a summer reading program that offers incentives to kids for reading books. These activities are all free and available to card holders.
  • Don’t forget to check out the used book sales at the library. Many times the books they are getting rid of are classic books. Our library sells them for as little as a dime! This is a great way to build your homeschool library.
  • Finally the library is a great way to “try out” books. Many times I check out a book I think we will love only to find the book adequate but not spectacular. If I find that there is a book we check out repeatedly it is time to invest in the book.
This post was written by Toni Anderson when she was a contributor for The Homeschool Post. Toni is a military spouse, homeschooling mom, writer, friend, savvy blogger, and the original Happy Housewife. She writes for The Happy Housewife and Savvyblogging.
Toni (9 Posts)

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  1. says

    We too love the library!

    I love how completely user friendly it is. I can go online and search all the libraries in my county for all the books, CD’s, DVD’s, Video Games, and place them on hold. Then they deliver them to the library I choose and I just go and pick them up. I can also renew online which is awesome.

    If you are a homeschooler the library should know you by name when you walk through the doors =)


  2. says

    Yes, I made a HUGE mistake (miscalculation?) last summer after we first started home schooling. I took my three kiddos to the library and then a week or so later we went on vacation. We came home to $165 in fines! I nearly cried. I had NO idea that library fines were so steep these days!

    Now we have a 5-6 book limit each…and Mommy makes them keep their books in a certain place so they don’t get lost. THEN I mark my calendar with the due date so I have no excuse! Luckily our library you can renew and pay fines on line. Saves a lot of extra gas and fuming! :)

  3. says

    We love the library! I will go on Christian Book Distributors or find books via other blogs and then look them up at the library online and reserve. πŸ˜€ It has been a wonderful blessing to us! I hope to get the kids in with the summer reading programs, too.

  4. says

    I adore the library! Our library has fine-free days too. This has been the ultimate life saver for me! :) If you knew me, you’d understand! LOL

  5. says

    The library ROCKS!!! Our book sale is next weekend so I’m trying to fine tune our wish list πŸ˜€ I always bring a few boxes of books home…my husband actually dislikes the library books sale…he’s contemplated putting holds on all of our accounts…jokingly, of course. If only I had a few more book shelves… πŸ˜›

  6. says

    I love the library!! The library is one of the best resources available!! We utilize our library a lot. My husband checks out audio books to listen to during his daily commute. The short children’s stories on CD entertained the kids (AND us!) during our cross-country drive/vacation last week. Instead of spending money to rent a DVD, we borrow DVDs from the library. We have even checked out software to help us learn a new language! (Although we didn’t get around to using it. :( ) We always have tons of books check out. Like Toni, we have had to use a basket to keep all of the books in one place to make sure that none are overlooked when it is time to return them. Our little ones enjoy all of the programs that our library offers and I do too! Our library even has lectures & programs for adults! One of the best features of our library is the drive up window. I don’t even have to get out of my car to pick up resources that I have reserved!

  7. says

    I echo everyone elses comments! I love the library! I love to see the excitement in my kids’ faces when I say “Let’s go to the library!” Great ideas for keeping things organized! I have a library book bin, but no wheels – I think that would really come in useful for us as well! Thanks for the great ideas!

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