Monday, July 26, 2010

day 200: it’s library time!

Here is where people,

One frequently finds,

Lower their voices

And raise their minds.

~Richard Armour, "Library"

In the fun days of summer, we can often forget about one of the greatest places to spend hot afternoons (if you can’t go swimming!)—your local library. The boys and I just enjoyed a day of “library hopping”—where you go from one library to another throughout the day (stopping for lunch, of course!), losing yourself in books, audios, and more. We have two branches of our local library and another dozen or so branches of the “big” library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We love library hopping!

Every Monday I have a list of “to do” items to get my week started off right. One of those tasks is “Library online.” This means that I go to my two accounts (one at our local library and one at the “big” one), renew books that are going to become overdue that week, check to see if any holds are ready to be picked up, place holds for books that I want to pick up in the next week or so, and often write up a “teacher’s collection.”

The “teacher’s collection” is, to borrow the colloquialism, the best thing since sliced bread. It is an amazing service that our large library offers that I take advantage of as often as possible. With the “teacher’s collection,” you fill out a form (available online or at each branch) for the types, ages, topics, etc. of materials that you need. It is available to teachers as well as homeschoolers (though I am sure they would oblige any parents who want to use the service to help their kids at home).

Here are some recent “teacher’s collections” I have requested, to give you an idea of the terrific things they do for us:

1. Audio historical fiction for grades four through eight that took place in the US between 1800 and 1900—25 pieces

2. Newberry award winning audio books from 1922 (the year the first Newberry was awarded) to 1950—as many as available (we use a lot of audio books here!)

3. Historical non-fiction books about US history for grades four through eight about the years 1800 to 1850—25 pieces

4. All “Little House” books on cd

5. Book and cd sets that are Caldecott winners—25 pieces

Obviously, the Fort Wayne library main branch can do those types of collections because it is a huge library system. I am so grateful for their help with our kids’ education.

So…take some time out in the remainder of the summer to go to that wonderful place, the library.

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