And homeschoolers can help their libraries.
The following excerpt is from American Libraries article, Make room for homeschoolers by Abby Johnson, children’s services/outreach manager at New Albany–Floyd County Public Library. Her website is Abby the Librarian.
Fantastic Fridays has connected the library with the homeschooling community. Not only are we now serving this previously underserved group, but homeschooling families are giving back to the library. Parents have gone on to serve on the library’s Community Planning Committee during strategic planning development. Homeschooling teens volunteer at some children’s programs, and one family volunteered to videotape and edit a summer reading club video by the teen advisory board. Some homeschooling parents help with our collection by noting which series of books have gone missing or by suggesting series or titles that have curriculum connections.
Libraries have long been a favorite resource for homeschoolers. It is entirely possible to homeschool for free using materials from one's local library. Obviously there are books and textbooks, but many libraries now have huge selections of audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and magazines, as well as computers for research, literacy programs, preschool programs, and seasonal activities.
Our local library offers services I simply cannot do without. With an educator card, I am allowed to check out books for an extended period of time. Their online catalog gives me access to our accounts and records, where I can remind myself of due dates, renew books up to 3 times - and, of course, pay our overdue fees.
The search features give me access to libraries all over Ohio, including university libraries, so I can place requests for books, audiobooks, and DVDs that our local library doesn't carry. I am able to reserve the books I need and when they arrive at the library, I am notified via email so I simply drop in and pick them up off the shelf. They have computer databases linking to pertinent research on a variety of topics. I can subscribe to newsletters that notify me of new materials, and they also offer a homeschool specific newsletter.
Having homeschoolers in the library definitely makes our library more fantastic.
I hope that we as homeschoolers are working as hard to enrich our local libraries as they are at making homeschooling an affordable pleasure.
Did I mention they have books sales where I can purchase fiction and nonfiction books for a quarter each?