Last week Steve wanted to check something out at the library. Only to discover he had a fine on his account. He had them check the other family accounts. Oops! He ended up paying over $5 of library fines on 3 different cards in our family: his, mine, and one child's card. I hadn't even realized the child had items checked out, let alone that they were over a week late. The library print-out was not on my bulletin board, and the books were in their bedroom. Totally off my radar.
But, our library just went on-line. I had just activated our accounts to be able to use the online service the day before Steve paid all the fines. (Strangely, the fines weren't mentioned to me the day before. I guess they knew who had the cash and who didn't. *wink*) Now we can view our accounts on-line, see what is checked out and when its due, without having to keep track of those little library print-outs. We can renew items on-line without calling the librarians or making a trip to town.
Even better, we can view their listings to see if they have books we need for Tapestry of Grace, and we can place holds on items we'd like to check out.
But, best of all, they're connected with other libraries, so we can search for a book, request it from ANY library that has it, and then pick it up at our library. And that doesn't even count as an inter-library loan.
That is how we used Tapestry of Grace before we moved here. We never bought the books, we just borrowed from a network of libraries, picking them up at one nearby location. We managed to acquire most of the necessary books that way. I'd sit at my computer every 2 weeks and request upcoming books, and search for alternate books to replace the ones we couldn't find. Then we just went in and picked them up.
When we moved here, we only had access to our small town library, which wasn't on-line, and we could only have 3 inter-library loans at a time. I had to budget time to go into our library and search for Tapestry of Grace books and alternate books there. If I was planning well, I could choose 3 books to request via inter-library loan from other libraries. But sometimes they came too early or too late for the required week, and we had to just adapt.
Our librarians were wonderful about helping us with the inter-library loans, renewing books we needed for a longer period, and finding substitute books on some of the more rare or difficult topics. We learned how to substitute other books for the ones we couldn't find, and we began to buy more history spines we could use when the books just weren't available. But now, we once again have access to a network of libraries, and can easily plan our school from home.
I am THRILLED to be able to do this again. Really! I had known it was in-process, but it's been ages since I'd heard anything about it. I was surprised when I was at their website last week to see that it was finally ready! I was so excited, my kids were embarrassed. They were just glad no one was around to hear me babble on about it.
So now I've put my thankful babble online for all the world to see. I think they'll live.
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