or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › help me make the libary work for our family
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

help me make the libary work for our family

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Not sure if I should xpost this in discipline, but I hope y'all can give me some ideas.  I grew up within walking distance of the local library.  I have very fond memories of walking to the library (by myself) and picking out books---reading for hours and hours.  We lost lots of books as kids and my mother would scream and yell at us.  It was a mess, but I still loved to read.


Fast forward to me as a mom.  We can't walk to the library, but I do go often.  My children used to love to read.  Over the years, we've had to pay a LOT in fines and lost books, and now I'm yelling too.  After the last "lost book", I told my 8 and 6 year old they would have to pay for the next book if it is lost.  I have provided a shelf in the living room and a special bin in their room for library books and we only check out 2 each. Our house is not large and they never take books out of the house. 

 

So it happened last week.  My dd lost her book.  She gets $3/week in allowance and saves all her money so she has the money to pay.  We went to the library and the book was $5 and they assess you a fee of $5.50 on top of the price of the book.  She was miserable paying for the book.  She didn't want to.  Furthermore, she can't find another book, but she is blaming it on me since I read it to her last. 

So she announces she never wants to go to the library again and doesn't want to read anymore!!  Not the outcome I was looking for!!! 


My children don't watch a lot of tv, so they naturally draw to reading, but now she is not reading anything. 

 

How do your families manage the library??  Should I just be on top of every book so they don't have an aversion to checking out books??  Should I just buy books at garage sales etc and forget the library.  With the amount I paid in the last year I could have lots of used books!!

post #2 of 29
I think you handled it well by limiting their ability to check out books to 2 each.

What helps us is to have a designated spot for library books. I know you mentioned the shelf, but is that where they read their books? My oldest ds (7) reads mostly during quiet time and before bed at night. So, his stack of library books stay on his nightstand.

My youngest is 4 and we read his books to him before bedtime so his books also stay on his nightstand.

Any books we check out for homeschooling, or that I pick out, or that will be used during daytime, I keep in a stack in the bonus room and return the book to this stack throughout the week.

Another thing that helps is we go to the library each week on pretty much the same day. This only gives a week to lose a book, so if there is a misplacement, we can still remember fairly well what we may have done with it.

I also check out quiet a few books/mags each week and these I keep in a stack on my nightstand.

This is what works for us and we haven't lost a book yet, knock on wood:)
post #3 of 29

This strikes me as a hard choice. Not letting her take out any books seems harsh to me, especially when she reads a lot, especially when you are homeschooling. Six and eight are still young they may need more guidance than just places to put books to help them. I am not suggesting that they should not be accountable for what they have lost but if reading becomes something take takes away money for other things they may start not wanting to read.

 

That being said we usually come home with 20 books at a time and manage to only loose about 3 a year.

post #4 of 29

Your kids are old enough to talk to you about this.  Now that your dd has the experience of choking up the money for lost books, you don't have to stick with this same tactic necessarily.  Talk to her.  Tell her how you feel when YOU have to pay those fines.  Ask her how she can help, what you can do as a family.  Maybe if she is responsible, then have her pay part of the fine, or some other arrangement. Let her know that it is not acceptable to you to continue paying ALL the fines yourself.  I'm usually pleasantly surprised at the solutions my 6.5yo comes up with.

     Or if you feel more like the righteous warrior, then stick to your guns and call her bluff, if that's what you feel it is.  I think she''ll come around, and I think that she spoke out of a bit of shock at the new status quo.

     Don't be afraid to take either path.  Backing down a little is an admirable path with a lesson to teach in and of itself.  Holding your ground takes more energy but could be worthwhile.

    

     That said, I am the one keeping track of all the library books here.  I haven't given the girls their own cards yet though the oldest is probably ready.  I use all 4 cards because sometimes we have well over 100 books at home at a given time.  I renew stuff online.  I'm sure my girls are ready for this lesson, it's just not a responsibility I've transferred to them.  And I am really bad about getting things back on time.  It doesn't take much for that many books to rack up fines.  I swear, I should at least get a prize or something for all the financial support I give them!  

 

 

post #5 of 29

I keep all the checked out books in a large tote bag.  They get read, have a bookmark put in if needed, and go back into the bag until we want to read them some more.  They are not allowed to settle anyplace else in the house. 

post #6 of 29

I'm no help, while we love the library, I got tired of having fines and lost books, so we no longer borrow books. I was also tired of being in charge of the books, and being the one who remembered them.

 When we find a great book we add it to our wishlist- if I can find it used then we purchase it, it is much cheaper than paying fines.

 

We still visit the library to do research, read and relax, we just leave the books there when done.

post #7 of 29

Does your library provide online records?  Between DH and I we have about 50 books out right now.  There is no way I could keep track of them all without online access to the records!  I check both of our records every Friday and write down what is due in the next week.  I can also renew online.  We go to the library 1-4 times a week, so everything is on a different schedule, but we haven't lost anything and suffered very few fines.  Now, DS is still just two, so we'll see where things go, but managing online is crucial at our house!

post #8 of 29

our library gives a print out and you can manage your account online. 

we have a basket for dd's library books and i help her keep them there.  i like the tote bag idea, too, that's a good system.  i have seen people have really cute totes with a special hook so they can easily be accessed. 

 

we have an uproar of stuff in our house much of the time, but there's only so many places a library book can hide. 

some ideas:

some libraries/librarians will let you renew or change your due date to let you look for lost items.  it's much easier to find a book or for the library to wait for it than to order a new one. 

 

about your daughter's frustration:

could you perhaps have one of the librarians (one who seems nice/approachable) talk to her about the fine?  maybe it will feel better coming from the librarian.  i have even taken kids back to show them what i have to do to replace a book (showing them the processing area, etc) so they understand. 

that might help. 

you got off cheap with only 10$ or so, too.  my goodness!   also, they might refund if you find the book.. maybe do a thorough search one more time?

post #9 of 29

I'm no  help either, I just made my 10 year old spend is entire paycheck on late fees.  $15 worth!! Now all library books live on the shelf in the living room and if they are misplaced it's on the reader.  I'm responsible for a tons of stuff, I can't keep track of every book that comes in the house as well.  

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by milomama View Post

Does your library provide online records?  Between DH and I we have about 50 books out right now.  There is no way I could keep track of them all without online access to the records!  I check both of our records every Friday and write down what is due in the next week.  I can also renew online.  We go to the library 1-4 times a week, so everything is on a different schedule, but we haven't lost anything and suffered very few fines.  Now, DS is still just two, so we'll see where things go, but managing online is crucial at our house!


Online records of what has been checked out are incredibly helpful. The best option is to look at what has been checked out online, and renew any books that are missing. Use that time to try to find them. You can avoid the fines since most libraries let you renew 1-3 times depending on the book. Another option is to have them store all library books in a special spot on the bookshelf. Set up a reading corner and ask that books stay in that area.
post #11 of 29

Most books are not lost forever.  Renew a few times while you find them.

 

Let your DD know that if she finds the book most of her money will be returned.

 

Another idea is to set aside perhaps 1$ per week for library issues - it is not much money, but it will cover most issues.

 

Some items (DVDs!) have higher fees than others.  Some people limit or avoid them

 

Many libraries have fine amnesty months - my branch offers Food For Fines in December - bring in a canned good, they will waive fines.  Others waive fines during library month (October).  Check and see.  

 

Play around with spots to store library books in the house - we have them on the piano atm and that is working.

 

I wouldn't let fines come between me and borrowing books if at all possible.  

 

 

post #12 of 29

One last thought - is she sure she lost it?  Check the shelves at the library - sometimes books do not scan in properly (trust me on this).

 

Kathy

post #13 of 29

Ditto to what everyone else has said about having a special shelf or spot for library books and keeping track of things online.  However, our saving grace is simply going to the library every single week on a designated day (if we don't make it a certain day, it doesn't happen every week).  We can check out books for three weeks; going every week means that we have THREE (!) chances to get all the books back before they are due.  It usually works, and I don't owe too many fines.  Summer always throws us for a loop because we have no real schedule, we don't go to the library weekly, and lo and behold, I have already paid one round of fines. 

post #14 of 29

Well as someone who deals with 2 different city library systems and 2 cards each (one for me and one for DS), thats a total of 4 library cards between both library systems we definitely have cause for library concern here but in all the years of doing this we have never lost an item. We have been late, oh boy have we been late but never lost.  I also love the 'forgiveness' months where you can pay fines with food etc.

I manage all the accounts online and I get email reminders of what's due when, when my ordered items are ready etc.

I renew if I'm not going to make it back on time.

I also have a pink bin for library #1 and a blue bin for library #2.  Everything gets tossed in the bin when its ready for a return.

I see lots of moms at the library with those rolling bins.

Right now between by 10 yr old DS and myself we have about 60-70 items out (again 2 library systems, a total of 4 cards).  We both love movies and order those lots, plus we both obviously read alot.

 

I say start with a specific colored bin (yes go get something obnoxious that the kids will love so they USE IT) and see how that works.

post #15 of 29

We frequently have 50-75 books checked out from the library at any given time.

 

What I do is when we check out books, I come home and mark on my calendar 2 days before they are due.  (I use google online calendar and have it set to email me 2 days before the books are due).  When I get that email, I go online to our account and renew every single book (even if I am planning on going to the library the next day, I renew them all...that way if any books don't make it back, they are renewed)    Then I mark my calendar again for the next time they are due. and renew them 2 days in advance, etc.etc...(repeat every time we have a new due date, either from checking out books or from renewing)

 

Our library lets you take books out for 3 weeks and you can renew a book 2 times, so that means each book could be kept out for up to 9 weeks. That is usually more than enough time to find a lost library book.  They always turn up, especially if you aren't taking them out of the house.  We have lost very few books over the years (there have been a couple...but maybe I've ended up paying to replace like 1 book a year or something). 

 

Also at our library, if you tell the librarian the books is lost, frequently they will renew it an extra time for you, to give you more time to look.

 

It also helps if you know places where books are apt to hide (in our house, they frequently slide under things like couches, beds, chests, etc.)

post #16 of 29
Library Elf! Most libraries are members. It emails you reminders two days before the books are due (can set more reminders if you like) so you have plenty of time to help DC find them before you start accruing fines. If you can't find it renew it the day before it is due (online or over the phone to save an extra trip). Then you have another loan period to find it.
We have a crate in the lounge (where most reading happens) for library books, works well enough for us.second e suggestions to put aside a small amount for library fines too (consider it a rental fee for the books).
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Also at our library, if you tell the librarian the books is lost, frequently they will renew it an extra time for you, to give you more time to look.

 

It also helps if you know places where books are apt to hide (in our house, they frequently slide under things like couches, beds, chests, etc.)

Yes! Have had this happen when I have been standing there, cash in hand ready to pay for replacing the book.
post #18 of 29

I keep the books and movies in the library bag.Consider having them scan in books instead of putting them in a drop.I returned books that were never scanned in,and I found them weeks later on the shelf when the library tried to say I never took them back!

 

I think it is good that your kids paid for the books,but after 2 times I might not let them take out more stuff,or really limit where they can read so it does not get lost. I rarely let the kids take books out of the home except for reading in the car.I don't wnat them leaving library books at the store,or an hour away at grandmas!

 

Thift stores are great for books.I get many for 25 cents each,but sometimes you need a certain book or author.My 9yo ds just had to read harry potter,but I only found 2 at the thrift.

post #19 of 29

Our little library (part of a region-wide library system) has a librarian we love.  If for some reason we can't find a book and it's not on the library shelf (I always check that first because it happens all the time!) I'll tell the librarian and she'll usually provide an extension, even if we've renewed the book more than the limit.  I've very rarely actually lost a book, and the one that we did "lose" I swore up and down that I turned it in and she waived the fines.

    

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

.  I've very rarely actually lost a book, and the one that we did "lose" I swore up and down that I turned it in and she waived the fines.

    


Yes.  Most libraries have a "claimed return" option.  There is a cap on such things - in our system you can "claim returned" on 2 items. 

 

I would not abuse this, but if you genuinely think you returned a book, it is an option to claim you returned it or never had it.  

 

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › help me make the libary work for our family