Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Last week I was very excited about a new book I bought for Ethan: Little Hands Celebrate America. The activities looked simple and like something he would really be interested in doing. As a matter of fact, as I was searching Amazon for books to check out at the library to supplement the activities, he took the book and just soaked it in. He was fascinated, and we couldn't wait to get started.

Imagine our disappointment, then, when we went to our closest library (our town doesn't have its own) only to find that, out of a list of 12 books, they had not a single one of them. I pulled out a few on the same subjects, just whatever they had, based solely on the title on the spine, but upon getting them home, I was disappointed in the quality. There is exactly ONE book of the 7 we brought home, that we will actually use.

That afternoon while the children "napped" (I use that term VERY loosely), I went on the TX library website, to see about inter-library loans. I entered the information for the first book on the list, and lo and behold, there it was! Happily, I asked for it, and moved on to the next book. Found it...but wait! You can only do one book at a time through this program. Not only that, but I found out this morning the turnaround could take up to several weeks. So...scratch that.

My next option was to try the library in the city. The City of Tyler's library is really just for residents of the city itself (the one closest to us, in Bullard, gives a card to any TX resident). If you live in another town, Tyler's library doesn't let you borrow, but lets you "rent" books at 50 cents a pop. And I was going to break down and consider it part of our homeschooling cost, when I searched their catalog and found, again, NONE of the books that I wanted.

Because I am a glutton for punishment, just out of curiosity I went to the website of the library system where I used to live in a Metro Atlanta county. Sure enough, I scored with every entry. Multiple copies, at several libraries throughout the system. I could have cried.

Hopping on eBay, I toyed with the idea of BUYING the books,thinking that if I could buy enough from one seller I could combine the shipping. That didn't work out so well.

So...here I am, stuck.

What to do, what to do? Lower my standards, I suppose, and just take whatever I can find at the Tyler library, paying for the privilege, since Bullard is worthless.

Anyone else trying to home school in a smaller town or city? How do you work around the problem of a second-rate library? Do you just make the most of the libraries you have, and it works anyway? Do you have a really good second-hand book store? Do you order and then resell on eBay?

I'm open to any advice. I'm stumped. Help!!

1 comment:

NimrodSonOfCush said...

We've run into those from time to time. I'm not sure about your library's website, but ours tells us where (as in which branch) all of the books are at. Then we can drive around and get them.

Our library is managed at a county level, but there are about 8 small branches around the county. Our closest is a little branch that hardly has anything, but to drive to some of the others isn't too bad if you the time.

Our system does allow us more than one transfer, though, so we usually don't have to travel. They also usually just take a day or two.

I would petition Bullard to allow more than one book transfer and talk to someone at the library to see if there is anything that you can do to help improve things!!!