Sunday, April 13, 2008

Children's Book Monday - Library Tips

Library day! Do these words evoke excitement in your heart, or exhaustion? I must admit, there are still exciting library days that end in exhaustion for me, but it is so worth it. Here are some things I've learned along the way:

Gone are the days that I sat comfortably on the floor with a baby in the snuggly and a boy on the computer! Now, Daddy accompanies us on our library excursions, which we plan on his day off, Wednesday. He takes Eliana and her princess books to the playroom, which includes a loft with comfy cushions for reading, and Corban and Micah either walk the aisles and bring me loads of books to put in my basket, or they play computer games first and then fill my basket. As for me, I linger in the aisles brimming with Brothers Grimm stories, tall tales, biographies... okay, I linger in every aisle.

My style is not cultured- I simply run my eyes along the spines, reading titles until something jumps out at me either with the design, the title, or both. So far, I am rarely disappointed when I reach out and pull the book into my lap to pre-read before taking home. This is an important step for me- any book that my children bring to me as well, I read through and check the pictures closely for any material that may not be age-appropriate - or even just appropriate. Then over the next couple of weeks, I am reassured that, when I walk past a boy with a book quietly mouthing the words as he reads along, I needn't worry about the content.

One of my favorite tips for libary day is this: I keep a list in my purse of children's authors we've read that are well-loved; that way, I can look up other books they've written to find some more gems! This is so helpful- we have discovered so many wonderful books this way: David Small and Sarah Stewart (The Journey, The Library, The Gardener, The Friend), Marjolein Bastin (Vera the Mouse Series), Patricia Polacco (Oh, Look!, The Butterfly, Mommies Say Shhh!), Michael Bedard (Emily, Glass Town, The Nightingale), Barbara Cooney (Eleanor, Hattie and the Wild Waves, Miss Rumphius)... the list goes on and on. It is very helpful if you feel in a slump when it comes to choosing books- just find one your children have loved and look for others by the same author! Keeping the list in my purse means I'll always have it at the library when the books are right there in front of me.

When we get home with all of our books, they are kept in two canvas baskets underneath a living room table, right next to the couch. When a library book is read, it must be put back into the basket- this is also very helpful when the time comes to return all of the books with which we came home! The boys take the books to bed with them sometimes, to read before lights out, but they know that in the morning they must be returned to their place. (I am pleased to say that we have never had a fine for an overdue book, except for the time in our small town last year when I checked out a Christmas book and then packed it up with our Christmas things... we found it when we moved. In August. Thankfully, it's a very small town, and they just laughed and put it back on the shelf- no charge! Whew!)

This is a very long post, and if you have read this far, I hope your next Library Day is made better from something you learned! I can't wait to read everyone else's advice!

Happy Reading! (Oh, perhaps all of my links to the author's books we've loved will serve as my reviews today? They certainly have my stamp of approval!)

Please sign your name and leave the direct URL for your post if you have a children's review and/or some library tips for us this week!

19 fellow travelers shared:

The Powell Family said...

Just found you today-love your writing and all the book blogging! Thanks!

Quinne said...

Hi Elise :) Thanks for this post! It's a joy to read and an encouragement (yes, we love-love-love library day, and yes! it's exhausting - lol).

I like your idea about keeping a list of author's names in your bag. Love and hugs, Q

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Dear friend,
I liked going to the library with the Hooper's today. Thank you for inviting us along. ~smile~

Here, I don't ever "go" to the library. I click and copy and click. I search the library online, using 1000 Good book List, or homeschooling catalogues, or from a file I keep in Word of recommended titles. I put 50 books on hold on a card (we have 2 cards, and sometimes I max out the limit), and when the books are all ready, I get e-notification, and a very kind friend from church who goes to the city everyday (an hour away), picks them up for us and drops them off at the back door. It does take about 20 min. or more to check out all those books, and aforementioned friend is overwhelmingly gracious. (He does that for our family once every 6 weeks.) Clicking and pasting and putting those books on hold usually takes me a couple of hours esp. if I am searching for books on particular topics and I am trying to decide from the description if the book is the right one.

Ah, this got long... my apologies, Elise. I get a little passionate about books. ~blush~ Today, they all piled into the living room after church and were all reading books from the church library. I stood in the kitchen scrubbing potatoes and smiled. I could hear the clock ticking... and all their little minds awhirl. Delight!

I send love, Elise...

The Correspondent said...

Mine's up. Thanks for hosting (hostessing?) this!

Liberty said...

We have the same library method! :)

A said...

I love the library! Here in Wisconsin, many of our libraries belong to a consortium(whatever that means!). I can go online and request any book, video, DVD, audiotape, resource that they have in any of the libraries in the bunch! If they aren't in, they call or email when they come in!

I am terrible with fines, mostly because the videos are one week, books 2, but some are 3? The week flies by, and I always get more than I can watch or read in that time!

I've recently signed up for Library Elf, which emails you reminders of due dates! No more fines!?!?! It seemed like this might be a national program? Worth checking if anyone else has these problems!


Prairie Chick said...

I'm another online library customer :D search authors/subjects of relevance/interest to us, put em' on hold, let the librarians round em' up for me, then I just pop in; scan my card and they hand me my big pile of wonderful books. I'd much rather spend time home WITH the books than in the library LOOKING for the books.

Anonymous said...

Hi Elise,

Thanks for your library tips!

I really like the idea of keeping a list with you of authors that you know are good.

I also really like the containers that you keep your books in at home. We've tried baskets (the long, flat kind) and it's been too much of a mess. But I like those library-style baskets! We may have to try those...

Have a great week!


Shelley said...

I love Library Elf also, it lets me know when books I've ordered are in, and when my books will be due in 3 days and in 1 day and if they are overdue--it emails you according to how YOU set it up.

I also order our books online through interlibrary loan as we have a small library. I order based on your recommendations and others, and by subject of what we are studying and I read books about good books for kids.

My kids can check out whatever they want of course while we are there also.

Our library is very good about letting me renew books countless times over the phone--as long as no one else has placed a hold on the book. They know I am a homeschool teacher and tend to need books for longer periods of time.

dumptrucksandteacups said...

I loved seeing how you spend your time at the library!

We usually take Daddy with us in the evenings so that we have extra hands to help. :)

Blessings, Carrie

henryteachers said...

I love your corner of baskets where you keep your library books. So cute! And so nice to have Kevin along for your library trips. I think I would go more often with my kids if I had my husband's help. Thanks Elise!
Mindy :)

Between the Trees said...

I've been reading your wonderful book reviews for months and months and just love them! Every book you have suggested, we've eagerly reserved from the 'ole library and devoured--often keeping them for several renewals! I truly appreciate you picking books out for me at this stage in my life when the care-free days of hanging out at the library seem far behind and far ahead! Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

I really like your tips. I have some similar things I do like having a book basin, going back to favourite authors, reading through our books, etc. I also love being able to book our books on-line because we can get so many books from various libraries in our county. It works out really well! For now, we've done themes this year for homeschooling but next year will be more sporadic when it comes to our book bin(a basin, but I've been looking for something nicer). I'm looking forward to it. We've discovered a lot of new authors that we enjoy and Patricia Polacco is one that has grabbed Rachel's heart with Mrs. Mack. :0) What joy it is to see our little ones curling up with books! Thanks for doing your children's book reviews along the way. We've found new favourites because of them. :0)

Jessica said...

Can I just say? I love Children's Book Monday! You always have an old favorite of ours to recommend, or a new favorite we discover because of you!

Renee' said...

Great library tips! Thanks for sharing.

The Small Scribbler said...

Never an overdue fine?! The last fine we had was 72 dollars! Luckily our librarians are lenient and made it disappear. They know we LOVE their books.


Anonymous said...

I need to try to do a better job of keeping our library books separate from our "at-home" books. I'd also like to create a basket of seasonal books. There's always something on the agenda.

EEEEMommy said...

All these tips are great, but I have one more to add myself.

I often make use of the library internet to check your blog and jot down the books you've recommended. Then I go searching the shelves in the hopes that I'll find them. :)

keri said...

Library Lovers Unite!!
We love the library...we live very close, so we go often.
I order online for most of our books and videos and the kids have now learned to do the same thing.

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