PDA

View Full Version : Libraries - are they useful?



alexsmom
04-25-2016, 02:17 PM
I always hear about homeschoolers and libraries (same as about homeschoolers and co-ops, pretty much)... but is it really true?

I've gone both ways about them - long periods of time where I had no use for them, and then (like now) where Im there constantly.

What about for other homeschoolers? Are they really so invaluable, or just hype?

Miriamhokie
04-25-2016, 02:37 PM
We average at least two visits a week. We have two branches within 10 minutes of us. I reserve books on whatever topic we are doing in history and science. DS also gets books to read for fun. I go to story time with DD and sometimes just to have her play in the kids area. Several branches have elaborate play areas. My library system is really good about having events for kids year-round and especially during the summer.

MissLemon
04-25-2016, 02:44 PM
We are usually there once a week. I have cards for 3 area libraries. Our local library usually has a kid's program once a week that we attend, and we are planning to start attend programs at the other libraries. I have a voracious reader, and I cant imagine what would happen to our budget if I had to pay money for all the books he reads!

fastweedpuller
04-25-2016, 02:48 PM
A lot more when she was younger (pre-hs) and when we first started homeschooling. Now the only time we go in is if her dad or I am picking up an interlibrary loan book...for ourselves.

Our home library is pretty well stocked (if I do say so myself) and the addition of the Kindle paired with our library's e-books have more or less made our library a "glad it's there but glad I don't have to get dressed to visit it" part of our homeschool.

dbsam
04-25-2016, 02:52 PM
I really like our town's library. We mostly go for books and movies just for fun. My daughter reads so fast it would be crazy to buy her books. She goes several times a week for books.
Our town library has great activities for the kids (not HS activities; after school activities). However, recently we haven't been attending because my children fall in an in between age range. Activities seem to be for little kids or teens. Some activities say 'age 12 and older'. My children are only 11 but are in 6th grade; maybe I shouldn't be such a rule follower and sign them up!

We also have a larger county library system. They have more books on tape.

Happydays525
04-25-2016, 03:17 PM
I pretty much live at our library because I work there! :) We'll be homeschooling next year for the first time and I know I will be utilizing it more than ever. We have several homeschooling families that utilize our study rooms for independent work and testing as well as attend our childrens programming. Using our catalog to place holds on needed resources is done too!

TFZ
04-25-2016, 03:31 PM
I love our library. We are there at least once a week - either getting books or doing a program. I think my librarian was the first one I told about homeschooling, and she was so excited. They love homeschoolers. Keeps them in business. There are three youngish ladies that work the kids section and I heart them too.

Mariam
04-25-2016, 04:14 PM
I love libraries. Our town's library, the college library, the university libraries up the road.

I have to confess, that I seriously considered getting an MLS/MIS degree when I was going to grad school. Instead I am just a wannabe. :)

Even though we live in a small area, the local library has a great library network which means I can borrow books from other city libraries and even school libraries in the region, which expanded the children's section by 1000%. Also they are great about getting books via inter-library loan.

I use Worldcat.org to find the closest library that has the book I want.

And the library programs, free meeting space and lots of other nice things.

:heart:

Libraries are my sanctuary.

skrink
04-25-2016, 04:34 PM
LOVE my library. :) They know us well. My homeschooling budget would be tripled (at least!) without our library.

firefly77
04-25-2016, 09:10 PM
We visit our library often, but I REALLY make use of the inter-library loan system for homeschool stuff.

dottieanna29
04-25-2016, 09:26 PM
We go about once a week. We don't have a library in our town so I have to check all books out of the main county branch. I order books online from all the branches but have to pick them up there. It's about 20-30 minutes from home, so a bit of a drive but it's worth it. Once book come in, I have a week to pick them up so when I have a long list, the scattered availability dates means trips at least once a week.

crunchynerd
04-25-2016, 10:33 PM
We appreciate libraries in theory, and strongly support the vital role they play in a free and educated society. We ADORE our librarians. However, we use them as a space, when we do use them. The books in the kids' section kinda suck. I guess they have to go through certain filters to be deemed acceptable, appropriate, or whatever, but though they do have the Harry Potter series, and the Swallows and Amazons and a few other remarkable classics, it seems like most of their stuff is just really boring, sanitized, banal. My kids look, flip through, and leave it. Me too, I'm sorry to say. We vastly prefer our home library, and wish we had more space for bookshelves.

I hope this gets better with time, but so far, well, we do appreciate our public library. As a space. But we rarely check anything out unless it's some esoteric research thing I wanted, that I got through Inter-Library Loan, and I haven't done that in a long time. Frankly, I can usually get a copy of whatever it was I wanted that badly, on Ebay or Amazon or Alibris or other sources online, in the same time it would take Interlibrary Loan to get it, and don't have to return it, so I go that route if it's that important.

But the library is a good place to meet up with other homeschoolers when it's raining or winter.

darkelf
04-25-2016, 10:42 PM
I don't visit the library often. (as in take the kids in and let them pick books) Our branch is small and the choice is limited.

However I reserve books online and go in and pick them when they are available. (Our local is part of a bigger group) We also get a lot of "kindle" books from our library.

Oksana
04-25-2016, 11:16 PM
I end up in a library once a month or so. It happens when our HS group has some activity happening in the library's meeting room or if I have 40-45 min to kill while my kids are in a ballet class and I do not have to go to the grocery store.

I peruse what they have and jot down a few interesting titles to order later on Amazon. Our budget and space allows us to keep building our home library and that is exactly what I keep doing.... a lot. Any other book-shopaholics here?

alwayssmile
04-26-2016, 12:48 AM
I don't use the library at all here, but my local library only carries one shelf of books written in English. ha ha. I don't utilize the base library because one trip through there and they only had 1 of the 30 books I was looking for, but it's a very small library.
I'm looking forward to moving back to the states and utilizing a much better library system. My pocketbook would greatly appreciate it too. ;)

aselvarial
04-26-2016, 01:45 AM
We don't use our library at all. I think they are vitally important, especially for ppl who are lower income, or don't have easy access to really good used bookstores. However, we have really good used bookstores and thrift stores around here and we go to them a lot so I'm always picking up books that are interesting for under $2 a book (frequently less than $1 a book).

As I say that though, one of the big items on my must have list for the new house is a neighborhood with a walkable distance library. We don't use it NOW, but that doesn't mean we won't use it a lot later.

KittyP
04-26-2016, 04:00 AM
For school purposes about once a week, but I go by myself whenever I need some time to myself or when I need some inspiration for meals/creative endeavors/personal problems or really....anything. When I get the urge to buy every shiny I go to the library. When I feel like throwing out everything and going extreme minimalist I go to the library. Seriously considering moving to a cave? Library. Wanderlust setting in? Library. Bored? Library. I horde books like crazy cat ladies horde cats. I think I may have been a librarian in another life. As a child my favorite Disney princess was Belle because she got a library I still dream of having to this day.

skrink
04-26-2016, 07:26 AM
I peruse what they have and jot down a few interesting titles to order later on Amazon. Our budget and space allows us to keep building our home library and that is exactly what I keep doing.... a lot. Any other book-shopaholics here?

This used to be us. We have massive bookcases in just about every room, including the kitchen. Once dd had an assignment for some class where she had to count the books in our house. She stopped after she hit 3,000. It was a real eye opener for me. I took a hard look at what was on our shelves and realized many (most?) we'd had for years and after one read had never revisited. I have since purged, and could stand to go through everything again. I rarely buy fiction anymore. Sometimes for dd I will - she rereads a LOT - but def not for myself. Non-fiction is harder and I still spend way more than I should on books, but I'm much better at hitting the library for certain things and for test driving new books to see if they're worth purchasing.

Mamalump
04-26-2016, 09:22 AM
I put that I live at the library. Currently, that isn't quite true, we go once a week, most weeks. HOWEVER, for the next two weeks I still work full time and my kids are in daycare full time. So, that's once a week restricted to just weekends. Almost every Saturday or Sunday. When we were looking at elementary schools, we took DS to one of them. When he found out they had their own library he didn't care about anything else, just wanted to go. I've now promised him at least a once a week trip, and I imagine more. He loves to be read to, they have a large selection, and lots of toys. They even have themed boxes on topics. Like, before DS's first dentist appointment we checked out the Dentist box. It had 3 picture books (2 non-fiction, one fiction) and a video in it. They also have phonics boxes (mostly bob books) and Superhero Phonics, that I am looking forward to using. There is a community helpers box. That kind of thing.

Since I'm not doing a formal curriculum for anything other than Reading and Math, the rest will likely rely heavily on what the library has to offer.

ejsmom
04-26-2016, 09:40 AM
The local to my town library is not part of our county system for some ridiculous reason and it's not really useful as it's tiny. If I can we visit the next town over to pick up books we reserve from our county library system. About once every month or 2 we go to the large branch of our county library, however it is a drive to get there (about 40 minutes on major highways with heavy traffic around the state capitol) and the trip there and back generally takes up half a day. Also, the trip has to be timed correctly to avoid morning and afternoon rush hour or it can take even longer. To be honest it's not that great a library. I have been considering getting a card for the adjoining county's library as we are just 2 miles over the county line and spend a great deal of time in that county and the closest branch would be much closer and we drive by it a few times a week. We used a library in a county an hour away all winter with our homeschool group as they happily let us use their conference room for a writing class. That was a small but fantastic library! Wish I lived near that one.

Mariam
04-26-2016, 10:09 AM
I peruse what they have and jot down a few interesting titles to order later on Amazon. Our budget and space allows us to keep building our home library and that is exactly what I keep doing.... a lot. Any other book-shopaholics here?

Oh, I buy way too many books. I have a lot of books I keep revisiting. I frequently look at books at the library, if I wish I had it longer, then I will consider buying it, or I use the library to determine if I want to buy it. It takes the guess work out of it.

Every time we move I purge books, but not enough. Our last move, we got rid of everything except for books and personal items.

What is funny, is just last week I was looking at a lot of kids books that DS had said that he was not interested in. Well, I was sorting through them and I had a pile that I asked if he wanted to keep any of them. He said he wanted to keep all of them. His reading has been changing/improving and I think now he wants to try all the books he rejected before. So I guess I will not be getting rid of any books until it is really clear he is beyond them!

KittyP
04-27-2016, 10:51 PM
Oh yeah, every available wall of our house is covered in overstuffed bookshelves. Most are two deep and stacked sideways on top of that. If we love a book we find at the library we add it to our home collection, but we just don't have the space to own all of them and a lot of books are good but not that good. And let's not even get me started on our digital library...

Homeschooling Librarian
04-28-2016, 12:19 AM
Well, you can probably guess where I stand on this one. ;)

I like our library and the children's librarians a lot. I love, love, looooooooove electronic resources though, and I can pretty happily trip along the digital collections of far-flung research libraries.

darkelf
04-28-2016, 01:20 AM
This used to be us. We have massive bookcases in just about every room, including the kitchen. Once dd had an assignment for some class where she had to count the books in our house. She stopped after she hit 3,000. It was a real eye opener for me. I took a hard look at what was on our shelves and realized many (most?) we'd had for years and after one read had never revisited. I have since purged, and could stand to go through everything again. I rarely buy fiction anymore. Sometimes for dd I will - she rereads a LOT - but def not for myself. Non-fiction is harder and I still spend way more than I should on books, but I'm much better at hitting the library for certain things and for test driving new books to see if they're worth purchasing.

I have books, books, and more books! Our books have books. I have more books than bookshelves......

And we discuss buying new books all the time. (Yeah, honey I enjoyed that series, I think we need the hardbacks)

Norm Deplume
04-28-2016, 10:02 AM
LOVE my library. :) They know us well. My homeschooling budget would be tripled (at least!) without our library.

^ This. No way could we afford to buy all the books we read.

irishlasstn
04-28-2016, 01:02 PM
We moved to a new town in February and I LOVE our new library. We go at least once per week. DD checks out chapter books and books on whatever topic has struck her fancy that week and I check out curriculum resources, manipulatives, board games, topical lesson kits, and novels. They have a fantastic storytime room, play area, and tablets loaded with educational apps for kids to check out. There are also several kid-friendly events every week. It's a must-have resource for us that I would sorely miss if it didn't exist.

ElizabethK
04-28-2016, 01:18 PM
I love the library. I regularly have 30 - 50 books checked out at a time. While our closest library is very small, it is part of a county-wide system, so it does have a pretty big selection overall, which is great for homeschooling purposes. I can find just about anything we need.

But we aren't a homeschool family that hangs out at the library, and we can't do schoolwork at the library. We actually aren't very good at accomplishing schoolwork anywhere at home, so that's not the library's fault. I know of families who love spending time at the library and that is just not us.

Also, my kids actually hate physically being at the library. Our closest library is a little store front library, so I don't blame them. The library has made it as comfortable as possible, but it's still pretty cramped. I search for books, put them on hold, and pick them up when they are ready. I pretty much do strike-force library visits - head straight to the hold section, then check out.

LadyMondegreen
04-30-2016, 02:24 AM
We go through phases of being at the library multiple times a week and using loads of library books in our homeschool, and phases of being content with our ever-growing home library.

Lately, we've been visiting the library a couple times a week. My two youngest boys are new readers, so they love being able to pick out books for themselves, and my 13-year-old seems intent on reading every book that I'd prefer he not read, before he's old enough for me not to care anymore.

quabbin
05-01-2016, 09:41 AM
Yeah, without the library we'd either have to cut back on reading quite a bit or budget a couple of thousand dollars more a year for books and bookcases... and we don't have much wall space left.
We don't live there, though. I only go once a week unless I have to pick something up that will expire before our regular day. (Holds have unfortunately been cut to 4 days, and the library is closed on Sundays. On the up side, we can request up to 30 books at once, per card.)