I’ll never forget it. It was 2 years ago when I was looking up resources for new homeschoolers when the dreadful word came up.
They couldn’t be serious. With kids in tow, they wanted me to dredge across town and look through the Dewey Decimal System of catalogs (Anyone remember that? I miss it…) to find one particular book… wait… twenty books… on how to homeschool my child for the next 1-14 years? Forget it.
I mean, I have a friend that is a librarian and she LOVES it. But even though she’s hip and cool like that… Going to the library? That’s like, still, kinda outdated, right? I mean, everyone has their “guilty pleasures”. That’s just one of my librarian friend’s hobbies. No one really goes there… Or do they?
I spent all of my elementary through high school years at the local “book dump”, which now I feel guilty for calling that. I thrived off of that place. But the system was time consuming… and with kids in tow? Forget it.
Then I went to another website on spiritual growth. “If you aren’t able to purchase our book now, feel free to check your local library.” Ugh.
Weeks later, I decided to look up a recipe. It was only available in book form. I searched all over. Nope, can’t get it unless you buy the book. But the book’s website even said it was available at the all so wonderful library.
Seriously? Really? You want me to go down there and search through your archaic system? Little did I know. Ignorance.
I finally googled my city and county library. Boy, did I feel stupid. I could create an account right there and place books on hold to be picked up in a rush. No dragging whiny, tired, & hungry kids around in multiple strollers. (Yes, multiple!) No paper catalogs. It’s all computerized. It hasn’t even been that long since I was last in a library, but wow, it has changed!
So, I created an account. I didn’t place anything on hold, because I was sure I could do without it. I mean, what’s a $10 book? Right? Until you budget for the month, and the books you want to read add up… and the resources you need for school, spiritual growth, leisure, cooking, gardening (not that I garden, lol, I wish…) add up. Ten dollars for a book here. Thirty for a book there. Five over here. But, oh, don’t forget those books recommended by everyone and I mean EVERYONE, they are twelve dollars! Yeah, Next thing you know your budget is easily over come by books. And not just for homeschoolers either, but even more so.
I caved, about 2 months in. I asked my kids, in the most depressing voice trying to seem excited. “Who wants to go to a library, or maybe two.” I’m not kidding,. Take your most depressing voice and knock it down 2 pegs. That was me.
My sweet daughter, Becca (who has loved books from the time she was born) agreed. We walked in, got our card (at each library) and looked around. The first one? I was not impressed. I still go there, but it’s not my favorite. The second? We spent over 2 hours at.
Let me tell you about our AWESOME library. We have a roof garden, an interactive area for kids with a pretend Fire Engine, a mini zoo, (OH YES! A zoo! Reptiles (Snakes, ick, but the kids love them…) Birds, Fish, Rodents… You name it!) but then, then there was the books.
Even though I just started my account, my books that I placed on hold for my daughter were waiting for me. It was miraculous. All I had to do was click a button. No hours of searching! My daughter and I walked through the entire library in awe. “Libraries (in my home town) aren’t like this, Mom. I wish they were. So many books! This is so much fun!”
Everything I needed: music to decide if I wanted to buy; books that I wanted to read; curricula; biblical teachings; picture books; movies; It was all right there without searching through a big ol’ catalog system!
Who knew? Probably you, but not me. But now if you need me and I’m not answering my phone… I’m likely at the library. Seriously. It’s become my “guilty pleasure.”
This week, I challenge you. Visit your local library. Sign up for an account. Go to your online wishlist, find the first book or two on it, then go to your library’s website and place it on hold. Feel greedy? Don’t. This is your tax dollars at work! And you’re SAVING a system that is near extinction! At the same time, you’re helping yourself by saving that money you would have spent on a book you would read ONE time to maybe have a romantic dinner at home or a playdate with the kids at a local museum. (My next challenge, eh… CHALLENGE ME! Dare ya..) It’s all right there at your finger tips! ENJOY!