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An Inside Scoop on Libraries

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, May 30, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 43 May 30, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Notes from Heather
-- The Inside Scoop on Libraries
Helpful Tip
-- Article on Delayed Formal Ed
Winning Website
-- Jeannie's Charlotte Mason Pages
Reader Question
-- Does My Son Need Speech Therapy?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Reader Feedback: The Inside Scoop on Mainstream Libraries


"Hi Heather -- This is my first issue and it caught my eye because
of the librarian article. I am not a homeschooler, but recently
did a lot of research to provide information for our library's new
website. I just quit my job after working at the library for
nearly eight years, the last three being in the Children's Depart-
ment doing programming (Storytime, etc.).

Here is the inside scoop.

Our library system is turning more and more to entertainment
instead of education. This is a nationwide trend. The library
gets funding through high circulation of items. Therefore, our
administration looks to do anything that increases circulation.
We now circulate more videos/DVDs and video games than anything
else. If you ask the manager what kind of business we are in,
he will say we are in the entertainment industry. My boss, the
Children's Librarian, has several degrees, one of which is in
Children's Literature, so she recognizes good authors when she
sees them. I do as well, since I am a former educator with a BA
in Elementary Education and Reading. Most librarians are not
required to be educated in children's literature in order to be
hired in as a Children's Librarian. They just have to have those
letters after their names saying they have a Master's in Library
Science or Master's in Library Information Systems.

If a book does not circulate and a librarian is uneducated in
good literature, it will get withdrawn and replaced with some
junk book that *will* circulate, such as comic books, anime or
cinemanga (all of which I think are basically junk books). The
public library system no longer sees itself as a place where
people can come to get a free education, which breaks my heart.
After asking if we could give information about tutoring services
(where to get help), I was turned down flat. It won't even be
discussed. It saddens me greatly to see libraries becoming
Blockbuster, but that is the way it is headed.

Patrons need to ask the library to purchase the materials they
want to read. Part of my job was to purchase patron-requested
materials. One of the last things I ordered before handing in
my resignation was the Wally McDougal series. The only way the
library would have ever ordered those is by patron request. So
don't be shy! Get in there and request the items you want your
library to carry. You, as patrons, have the power to get what
you want in your library." -- Angie H. in KY


I really appreciate Angie writing in!

There are 2 issues going on here, actually. Most of the time
the main issue you'll find addressed and debated is the current
nature of the books being acquired and offered by the libraries.

I don't actually even use libraries, since we have books in our
home (due to years of shopping library discard sales and general
incurable book addiction! LOL). I don't really depend on the
library to supply me with good literature -- well, not in the
traditional way, anyhow.

My issue is that GOOD books, many completely out-of-print and
written by award-winning authors, are being literally put in
dumpsters or sold for pennies, often purposefully 'ruined' with
the inside front pages torn out.

A few years ago I needed a copy of "Swiss Family Robinson" and
there wasn't one in our suburban library system. Not one copy.

I'm not sure what the remedy is, but I continue to encourage
individuals to keep in touch with local libraries about their
de-selection schedules. Don't be surprised if you speak to a
librarian and they are wondering why someone would be interested.
Some are willing to call you when they have a group of books
available. I've had friends who were able to 'rescue' books
for 10 cents each this way! Some libraries, including school
libraries, don't think anyone will want these books, simply
because they haven't been checked out for years. They are
often not permitted to send them to Goodwill or Salvation Army,
(due to the possible confusion about them being library-owned),
and will actually trash them if they don't have regular sales.

Familiarize yourself with good books -- and then be on the
look-out for these bargains! The book 'rescue' business is
a very honorable one. And when you have all you need (is that
possible?) -- you can rescue for others. Selling extra books
on eBay can help you purchase the new books you need, too! I
have gotten over $200 on 3 different occasions for books the
library has thrown out. Here is a great way to find book sales
near you: www.booksalefinder.com

-- Heather


"Thanks for the link on the librarian who de-selected books
based on the age of the book and the 'funny-ness' of the
authors' names. I wrote on his blog pointing out that due to
his and his fellow librarians 'de-selecting' truly great and
meaningful books, I have to request the final copies that
reside in the main branch storage and I frequently have to
wait because (what a surprise?!) I'm not the only one request-
ing these books but there is now only one copy in the library
system. I saw that others have weighed in similarly, so I
hope he gets buried in similar responses so he can see that
his arbitrary decisions don't reflect the people he is supposed
to be serving (and, of course, who pay his salary)." -- Laura N.


For those who might have missed the last issue, here is the
link to our archived copy:



Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Good Article on Benefits of Delayed Formal Learning


"Recently I was having an insecure-homeschooling-mom crisis,
comparing my children to another child and feeling like we are
coming up short. Okay, I know that isn't a good idea, but I
started down that road, couldn't get off of it, and it was a
bumpy ride.

Anyway, on the way home from church the other night, I was
thinking about how I probably need to step it up a notch so
my kids 'catch up' with other kids. Then, from the backseat,
my son Joshua asked me, 'Hey Mom, can we play that spelling
game?' (just a little game we play in the car where I say words
and they spell them). It occurred to me that maybe we are not
doing so bad after all. My little boy, who is 'behind' doesn't
feel like he is behind, hasn't labeled himself as 'stupid',
actually loves to learn, and wants to play spelling games in
the car.

When I got home, I decided to do a search on 'Better Late Than
Early' (a book by Raymond and Dorothy Moore), hoping maybe to
find something to encourage me a little bit. I found this
website article and thought maybe I would share it with you.
It was encouraging to me, and maybe it will be encouraging to
you, too.


Have a great day!" -- Chris in Wisconsin, HomeschoolingBOYS Group


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website


"This author, Jeannie Fulbright, who wrote the books 'Exploring
Creation with Astronomy', etc., has some wonderful Charlotte
Mason pages. Just click on the CM button in the left margin,
then you can click on topics like nature study, spelling, habits,
etc. Great website!"

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am new to Homeschooler's Notebook and I like the advice that is
posted for the questions. I have a 6 year old son who will be 7 in
July. He is very bright, however I am concerned about his speech
patterns. He does not stammer, but when he speaks to express a
thought, the thought he is expressing does not make any sense.

For example, when asked a direct question about a specific thing,
his answer will be something that doesn't have anything to do with
the question asked. Or, if we are just having a conversation, his
words get all mixed up so that his sentences don't make any sense.

Should I get a speech therapist or is there some way that I could
help him from home? If so, I need suggestions on how to go about
it. Thanks!" -- Ingrid

Our Readers' Responses

"Ingrid, I would recommend starting with an assessment by a speech
therapist, and possibly also a pediatrician, to find out what, if
anything, is interfering with your son's ability to communicate
clearly. Then, once you have a better idea of what is going on,
you will know more about how to help him. He may just need extra
help with communication, or it may be a symptom of a bigger chal-
lenge of crossed wiring in his brain. You can also purchase a
language development course called '2nd Straight Talk' through
NATTHAN http://www.nathhan.com/ -- It is written by a speech path-
ologist in conjunction with a homeschool family for the purpose of
being used by homeschoolers. Or you can do what I did with my son
-- I found a speech pathologist who was supportive of homeschooling
and she would come once a month to check his progress and give me
new things to do with him for the next month." -- El in Canada


"Our daughter, age 10, does this occasionally and it turns out
that it's a symptom of ocular migraines. She knows what she wants
to communicate but when her words or sentences come out, it makes
no sense. This may not be your problem at all but might be worth
checking in to, especially if your son is just doing this occas-
sionally. My daughter didn't realize she was having a headache,
which has gotten progressively worse and now more symptoms are
displayed. You can search online for migraine symptoms to see if
this might be the problem." -- DB in TN


"I googled expressive language disorders and thought this looked
most promising for what you describe. There's an article through
the second link called 'Late Blooming or Language Problem? Clues
to differentiate between a language delay and a language disorder'.


Speechville Express: For caregivers of children with language
disorders: http://www.speechville.com/


Whether or not your son has a true disability, reading quality
books to him will help his language skills (look into Charlotte
Mason's home education techniques)." -- Eliza


"I would recommend you get the book 'How to Reach and Teach Children
and Teens with Dyslexia' by Cynthia Stowe. I am 'just a mom' -
not a doctor - but when I read this book due to concerns for my
own son, one of the things I read about is called 'expressive
aphasia' - which sounds very much like what you described. It is
a characteristic of dyslexia and there are things you can do to
help improve and train your child to collect and arrange their
thoughts in their head before speaking. The ideas and recommenda-
tions in this book helped tremendously with my own child."
-- Michelle in Virginia

Answer our NEW Question

"I'm a grandmother, and really concerned about the education
where I live. I'm considering the possibility of home schooling
my grandson who is 4. Getting started is the issue I'm having.
Much of what he knows I taught -- until the daycare he attends
asked me not to because he knew more than the other children
(of, course I didn't stop!). How do you start the home school-
ing process? I'm in Tennessee." -- Marvella


Would you like to respond to Marvella's question?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

Need Immediate Help?

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
by typing in a box. When you get there, just introduce yourself
and let them know that Heather sent you!

This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
ear and encouragement.


[Note: This ministry is especially for Christian parents, but
all are welcome. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you
have any technical difficulties.]

Our Searchable Newsletter Archive

Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
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...or you can search on a specific word or phrase in issues all
the way back to January 2001! Just go to this link:


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Next - When They Ask, "Why Do You Homeschool?"
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