Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 15

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.

Visit Garden of Learning to read more Gratitude Challenge posts.

April E.


  1. We would rack up fines as well if it were not for the ability to renew online. It is also nice to hold or request books without going in. Also ours sends a reminder notice about 1 day before something is due through the e-mail. Thanks for sharing this Gratitude for the day, I needed the reminder to be thankful of our library.

  2. Our library has this service, too. it's so wonderful! I love getting the emails reminders and the ability to order and renew online. Technology is so amazing!

  3. Love this too but sorry to say I am still unorganized and we still get fines. Hubby paid a fine for one kid last week that was $9. Don't know what happened there!!! I have been renewing books weekly but something slipped by... or should I say some things. With the hectic life we are living doing painting and adding a toilet to our downstairs laundry room I guess they just got forgotten. Unfortunately, here in DE the money goes to the state and not right back to the library you pay the fine at, so they can use if for books, like it should be.

  4. Great thing to be thankful for! We love our online features. I'm sure I would appreciate it even more having lived without it for a time.


  5. Libraries are probably really thankful for homeschooling families. I'm pretty sure that as a group, we pay the most fines. What other families check out 50 and 60 books at a time? lol Thankfully, the Las Vegas system does not charge fines for kids' books.
    At the local library that is NOT in the LV system, my daughter was in line behind a man and his little girl who had $35 in fines the other day. If that was my fine we'd be done with the library for a good while, at least 'til I could teach some responsibility!
    Oh, and now I make my kids pay their own. :)

  6. I'll have to check and see if our library has computer access. Never thought of that before.

  7. YAY! (I just recently started using our online library - so I am feeling quite a bit like you do.)


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