Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Library

'Member back in September when I re-organized the school room?

I took all of the many, many books out to make room for things like kids. I took them upstairs to an extra storage room, where they lay for quite a few weeks until I could devote a little time to them. It was very difficult for me to decide on a cataloging system for all those books. I didn't want to go quite so far as to go totally dewy decimal but I wanted to be able to go to the shelf, find a subject and get the ones I wanted in seconds.

I ended up with one floor to ceiling shelf of chapter book series, one the same size of chapter books A-Z by title, one of picture books organized by either fiction or non-fiction by subject, one section of biographies, one of missionaries, one section of geography and, lastly, history. So far, everything has fit in to those categories.

After many an evening spent sorting books, I finally have five shelves of orderly titles.

I wanted to make "going to the library" a special thing for my children. During Hanukkah, I made library cards for each of my readers. Macho Man was especially excited to see that he'd have access to all those books that he'd been missing since September and a few more he'd seen me haul home in thrift store bags.

I also "hired" a librarian. Her name is Stella Librella. Have no fear, she isn't as scary as she looks. See photo above. :)

So, from now on, Thursdays at 1:30 (also coincides with nap time!) at our house, the library is open. The children who have cards may come in and check out three books. The wonderful thing is that I know who has what, who's book is on the floor, etc. Oh, they have the option of writing a one page review of a book in exchange for an extra book at check out the next week. Sneaky writing assignment, if you know what I mean! :)

Although I still try to get in a weekly trip to the neighborhood library, I have to scrutinize titles and carefully sort through many books to find a few good ones for my children. It is wonderful for them to have the opportunity at our library to choose anything they find interesting. I know that all of the books we have here are "safe" to read, exhibiting our values. And, it's a lot of fun.


Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

Hey! Great idea! Love your creativity.
I'm taking the opportunity to answer your questions about the work out too- I am doing P90X daily (hard! I am so sore I need medication) because Doug is home this week and he's a total fitness freak! He already has the "beach body". I have lost 2 pounds since Monday- and am doing well with eating smaller portions and drinking less Starbucks!

Becki said...

What an awesome idea! And we are having the public library trials right now. It's getting harder to preread things, though they do think it's fun to request books, so we look up what we like, put it on request and then just go pick them up!

Lillian the Ponderer said...

Hi I have never commented here before but I have been reading for a few weeks.

I just wondered how you organise visiting the library - assuming you have little ones in tow. Do they show you potential books and you check through them before saing ok or asking for them to be returned to the shelf? Do the older ones understand your rules enough to bring only suitable books most of the time?

Just wondering as this is something I have thought about if we are ever blessed with children. It is so expensive buying books but at the same time there isn't a huge choice of appropriate reading material for children in the general public libraries. For me it is still a long way off but I gather potential homeschool/childrearing tips wherever I see good ones - I figure there is no such thing as being over-prepared.

Jennifer said...

So that I don't cause jelousy in my younger ones, they all go down for a nap before I announce library time for the older ones. They have be able to read to receive library cards.

As for the expense of books, I'm in total agreement! Paperback swap, Goodwill and garage sales have been where I've found most of them. Several people have also given us books that their children have out grown.

Yes, you can't be too over prepared! It's great to know what your plans are before you get there, it saves a lot of head ache and hassle for you in the end.

Thanks for reading! :)

Missi said...

We just went dewey decimal here. I have two large bookcases full of those. and one large bookcase full of fiction. It's so nice to be able to put books back where they belong. I love your idea of knowing whose book is on the floor.

That lady with 6 daughters said...

Oh my goodness, you're a genius. Just today I posted a question asking people how their home libraries / school rooms were organized. I'm glad I found this. AND- I second the thrift shops, but I have to add yard sales to the list. Often, at a yard sale, you can get an entire box FULL of books for the price of one thrift shop book. Then, just donate the ones that aren't appropriate.