Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apparantly, I Haven't Been To The Library In A Very LONG Time!

O.k., let me just preface this post by saying that I am one of those "bad moms" that has never really taken my kids to the library consistently. I know it's good for them, it's just a hard trip with 4 kids. O.k., you are forewarned and I AM trying to do better.
So, I went to the library last Wednesday with all 4 kids for the first time in a long time. I knew it had been a while but I didn't realize how long until I got there. My kids wanted to play on the children's computers they have set up. So, I went to the front desk because I didn't have my library card with me and that is what you use to log in. I asked them to look up my card # for me and discovered that I had $14 in late fees. Wanna know how long those have been there? These late fees were for 7 books (that are returned) from 2005!! Yes, it has been 3 years since we have stepped foot in a library.
Well, I had to pay the fees to under $10 in order to use my card.
*As a side note, this is one of the main reasons I stopped going to the library. I was soooooo bad at returning my books on time that I decided I might as well just start buying the books.
So, I paid $4.01 and decided that we were going to try and make weekly trips to the library. We'll see if I do any better now that my children are older.
I will say that the experience was so different than 3 years ago. Back then I had a 4,3, and 2 year old and a new born. They were loud, they cried and were just chaotic. Because those are the only memories I have of taking my kids to the library, I was very anxious about this trip.
It was such a great relief to realize that my kids have matured greatly in this area. They did great and were truly excited about all the books and begged to check some out. Don't worry, I let them (1 for each kid).
O.k., so here is the funny part. I decided I was going to use this opportunity to teach Morgan all about libraries and how they are organized and how to find a particular book you are looking for. Now, I don't know about the libraries where you are, but the ones here have sure changed since the last time I was looking for a particular book (this may have been since I was in high school). I started to tell my eager and excited daughter that when you want to find a book in the library, you start with.....
This is when I started looking around the library and realized there was no card catalog. Being the savvy woman that I am, I quickly concluded that I should probably be looking for a computer. I saw a row of computers against one of the walls and walked my daughter over and we started typing. Don't you just love those moments where you are trying to teach one of your kids something that you are learning at the same time? Well, it was one of those moments. We did finally figure out how to work that electronic contraption and we found just the books we were looking for.
I know some of you are probably shaking your head in disgust at my library knowledge. But, I'm hoping someone will stand up and say they are just as clueless as me. Anyone? Anyone?


Jan said...

Wow, when did they do away with card catalogs? I have a 8, 7 and 18 month old. The older two are good but then you throw in the baby. WOW! Truely we only go for fieldtrips. I order from Scholastics.

Thehotrod5 said... library fine can put that one to shame.....needless to say we are NOT going back to the library for a least until I pay off my $90 HERE is a piece of advice.......When you bring them home from the library...even though you want things to be out of the NOT put them out of the way as you will forget them for months on end...and before you know it, the 15 books and 2 videos you checked out for your KONOS unit will soon cost you $90. Or they tell me LOL


Angie Hopkins said...

I raise my hand to admit that I'm just as bad. I currently owe the library about $20 from 2002. My kids each have their own card but I hardly take them. I have that same memory of taking wee little ones and it is not a good memory. My dh just took my son to the library last weekend and he assured me that it would now be okay to go back. I might. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

I'm just the opposite. We go libraries all the time (we visit different libraries just for the fun of it). Three of my four little ones have their own cards (which is necessary because we often max out one or two cards). I'm usually successful at finding everything we've checked out. Although, that reminds me--how do you lose a VHS tape? Spot, where are you?

Glad you've found your way back. Our trips are often short due to the young-kid factor, but we love to go!

(And yes, I've paid more fines than I care to admit. I tell my librarian I'm keeping her in business some days.)

Bren said...

In our county, they don't do fines. Thank heavens. They say it cuts down on people not wanting to come to the library because they'd have to pay their fines to check out a book. If the fine gets large enough, they just keep the book rather than return it, and the library has to buy a new one, costing the library more in the long run. As long as you bring back your books, even if it's late, you can keep checking out books. I think it keeps their participation numbers up, and some of the money they get from the state is determined by those numbers. It also apparently cuts down on books that people just never bring back (because they don't want to pay the fees) If it's VERY late you get sent a bill for a 'lost book'. That's when I sometimes remember to find it and turn it in, but if you find it and get it to them, the bill is wiped clean. I think we'd use it less often too if there were late fees attached. As it is, we go often (it's a fantastic library system here. Alachua County FL)

Anonymous said...

We try to go weekly - and TRY to keep our books in a "book basket" so they don't morph into hairballs under the bed. Our library also has an online function that I check before heading to the library. It's usually movies that accrue late fees at our house.

To answer your question - yes. Although libraries still do use the Dewey Decimal system, so I look really "smart" when I can actually find a book after the kids do their computing.

Denise S said...

I'll fess up. I did the same thing. When I took Holden to the library to get his card, I was telling him all about the Dewey Decimal system. Unfortunately, I had my mom in the card and she quickly pointed out that I was stuck in the 80's! Then, shamefully, she reminded me that when I was teaching in the public schools, didn't I take the kids to the library? Yes...I did and yes, I forgot that. I think I was just excited to be imparting new information to him that I forgot that info was a 'bit' outdated! We've been going off and on since last fall but Ethan (my almost 2 year old) loves to scream and run wild pulling everything off the shelves(odd because he is so perfectly well-behaved at home!) so I don't go as much as Holden would like.

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Oh, I am so glad I'm not the only one!!

Let me just say that when I did take my kids 3 years ago, there were literally late fees on my card from highschool!!

It makes me feel so much better to know that a teacher is in the same boat :)

I finally see the upside to living in Alachua county :)

I cannot imagine that sweet angelic little boy making any noise :)

BTW, I went again today and it was another successful trip!! This time each kid was allowed to check out 2 books (that's 8 total) because they kept track of their books from the week before. I sure hope we don't lose these.

Kari said...

That's exactly why we don't go much either - the late fees. I guess if we went regularly, it would be easier. I have been trying to go lately with Abbie cause so really likes the story time.

Jamie said...

My library is great and you can sign up for email reminders that your books are due! That has saved me many late fees! You should check with your library and see if they have something similar!

Tammy said...

My 14 year old loves going to the library, but I haven't taken her in a few months. I should take her this weekend. Thanks for the reminder! :o)

Jackie Sue said...

this kind of post is EXACTLY what gives homeschoolers a bad Well, now that you are in the library mode, keep up the good work. You know, they actually have movies and books on tape too...its a wonderful thing!

The Ice House said...

I also dread taking my kids to the library. I remember those days go going and it being a disaster! That was back when I only had 2...forget it with 4! I too have a large fee ($25) on one of our cards. My goal this summer is to pay that OFF!

My kids read books and take computer tests on them for points at school. To make my life easy in this area, I look up the books they want on the on-line library catalog and have all the books sent to the local branch. Then they send me a note letting me know the books are there and I run in while the kiddos are in school and pick them up.

I love going to the library and looking around, but with a VERY active 2 yr old that WON'T stay in a stroller, it's just not gonna happen any time soon! :-)

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

Oh that is too funny, I know what you mean about dragging the 4 kids to the library. But lucky for us our library as "no fine thursday" YOu can turn anything in on Thursday--it could be over due a year--and you are wiped free of your fine! so needless to say if we make trips to the Library on Thursdays only! so if I have a book that is late i know I won't get fined!

Our library has not had card catalogs in years?? I am sure even before 2005 they were gone.

Glad your kids had fun!
Double check with your library--they may offer no fine days once a month or something.

Shalene said...

Ok, well at least your library doesn't do like mine did. I had $65 in late fees on one of my children's cards (because I didn't return them) and they sent me a collection notice!!! :) I should probably do like you do, and just start buying them. My husband says he sick of paying for something that is supposed to be free. :) Blessings to you, and have fun learning the computer "card catalog." :)

Nicole said...

LOL. What a fun story. I'm so paranoid about forgetting to return the books that I make the kids leave them on the coffee table and regardless whether we read them or not, they go back well before the due date. I might as well not let them check anything out because I'm terrible about the responsibility of the books!

Billie said...

I'm terrible too! I find the books in the computer and then wonder around like a lost dog. What happened to the Dewey decimal system? I dont' remember it being so complicated!

Billie said...

I'm terrible too! I find the books in the computer and then wonder around like a lost dog. What happened to the Dewey decimal system? I dont' remember it being so complicated!

Billie said...

I'm terrible too! I find the books in the computer and then wonder around like a lost dog. What happened to the Dewey decimal system? I dont' remember it being so complicated!

Anonymous said...

"this kind of post is EXACTLY what gives homeschoolers a bad"

It also doesn't help badly misspelling "apparently"...