Friday, September 12, 2008

Library Fee Woes

We love our local libraries and are sincerely thankful for all they provide. But yikes! I just found out that late fees are increasing from five cents an item to ten cents an item! Nothing wrong with that, really, except that we check out 40 to 65 items at a time, so small organizational slip ups are about to get more expensive. I regularly "donate" about two to three dollars a month to them.

There is a charming library a mile from our house, quiet tiny, but with a wonderful children's section. I keep thinking we will have soon checked out all their offerings, but thankfully they have the funds to continually order newly-published books. Plus, the boys have some favorites that they're more than happy to bring home again and again.

There are several other large libraries with special program offerings, some of whom cater to homeschoolers, within twenty minutes of us. California libraries had nothing to offer, compared to what we enjoy here! A couple of homeschooling families from Colorado, who've recently moved here, also say our libraries are fantastic. We're blessed.

This morning was a nightmare, though, because we've apparently lost a book. Blessed does not describe our feeling, as we turned the house upside down looking for it. I renewed it, to give us more time, but I'm losing hope. One other time we had to pay for a lost book, and another time we looked frantically for one, only to find out that the library failed to scan it when we turned it in. It ended up being on their shelf, and when another family tried checking it out, the error was corrected. I called this morning, but no such luck this time. It's not on their shelf.

My husband and I are fairly mild-mannered people, until we have to go hunting for something, for more than ten minutes. We're so busy that wasting an hour or two pulling beds and couches and chairs away from walls, and desperately looking in every other nook and cranny we can think of, sends us into the worst, most cantankerous mood you can imagine. There is still Emily Rose to look after, during our search, and that in itself adds to the mayhem. She is pretty independent, but she doesn't like to be virtually ignored.

And the poor boys! My do they get a scolding, for just about everything about raising them that is difficult or annoying, dating back a good week. It's like the floodgates of parental aggravation letting loose with a vengeance, all because of a single missing book. We hate ourselves for this. We find ourselves apologizing profusely, within a few hours, while at the same time maintaining our stance that they must. be. more. responsible!

Our little local library offers these themed kits for checkout, such as nature, camping, dinosaurs, pets, etc. Each kit comes with a stack of similarly-themed picture books, toys related to the theme, and sometimes a video based on one of the books. The most recent kit, camping, came with a wonderful miniature toy camping set, which the children have thoroughly enjoyed. Problem is, keeping track of each tiny piece takes a lot of discipline and maturity. The boys haven't developed either of these, to the extent necessary to independently care for all their borrowed treasures.

We've developed ground rules involving the storage and use of library items, but we still experience aggravation on a fairly regular basis, since they also offer computer programs, books with matching stuffed animals, electronic books, nature magazines, and educational videos. It's really like Christmas, following every visit. And because all of it excites young, eager learners, we find ourselves regularly lugging laundry baskets into the library, to carry it all. They love us there, since we always boost their circulation numbers considerably. lol

While we haven't found the book, we have calmed down. My glass-half-full assessment of the situation tonight (now that the kids are in bed and I can take a breath) is that we've had countless hours of joy from library items, for the past three years, and we've forked out very little money, considering our check-out volume. That's not to say that some limits shouldn't be set, at least to save mommy and daddy from ranting and raving with abandon.

On a side note, something else is aggravating me today. Is it just me, or has Charlie Gibson become kind of mean since his Good Morning America days? I get my news online, so I've never watched his primetime news broadcast, but I did read the transcript and see some online clips of his first interview with Sarah Palin. I was seriously disappointed in his manners. Could he have been any more condescending? Tonight, I will try to catch 20/20 in hopes of a more complete picture of this series of interviews.

The media in general seem to have no restraint anymore. One is not supposed to be able to tell what their political feelings or opinions are from their choice of headlines, or from their body language, or from their manners. These days, it only takes a second to ascertain what side they're on. What a shame. Hopefully, colleges and universities will start teaching new journalism students about the importance of impartiality.

On a more positive note, thank you to the reader who provided that song clip on Bible book memorization! Really cute and helpful!

1 comment:

Fern said...

I get sooo stressed out when I am missing something. I feel like a finger is poking into my brain reminding me of each tiny game piece we've misplaced. I have a set of wooden stacking rings painted to look like jungle animals, and the kids have enjoyed playing that the rings are donuts. Well, I am missing one ring, have been for months, and it is driving me crazy! I want that wooden zebra to have all his stripes, darn it!

At my house we can't blame the kids because *everything* is disorganized. Something for me to work on...

I hope you find your book!