Libraries - How to stay off their Most Wanted List

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
Post Reply

Libraries - How to stay off their Most Wanted List

Unread post by cbollin »

amylynn12 wrote:I am so ashamed to admit this, but I am becoming just terrible about returning library books. :( We check them out & it seems to never fail that someone gets sick & it spreads, so we get behind & I need the books longer. In all the chaos, I usually forget to renew them, so they end up being REALLY overdue. I am scared to go back now because when I was cleaning, I found a Library movie that the girls checked out awhile back. It was under the dresser!!! :( Our library charges $1.00/Day for overdue movies!!! I probably owe them $90!!! :( I am normally not this irresponsible when it comes to most things. Why can't I seem to get it together when it comes to the library?

I think my biggest fear is that when I go in to return the movie, (with a paper bag over my head), they will confiscate my card & ban me from the library forever. If that were to happen, would I still be able to use MFW? I know we can't afford to purchase all the books. Does anyone on here make it work without borrowing Library books?
You'll have to send a picture of the bag over your head. It's the unknown homeschooler!!! (sounds like a Todd Wilson cartoon in the making, doesn't it?)

Let's think out loud on some of this:

*do they have a maximum overdue fine? Maybe it isn't as bad as you fear????
*can you do something different to get in a routine to take the books back, or hit the renew button online? Our library has an email notification system that we have to sign up for.
*do they offer anything like homebound services? or a teacher check out limit?

*are there any ways to get a library that does e-book downloads? Those are automatically returned after the expiration date. Here in Indiana we have something called INCOLSA
they are part of a bigger group of online libraries which is:

Maybe your libraries have a similar network or are part of that network? or maybe you can get an out of state card for one the participating libraries to be able to access it??? I don't know about either of those. I'm just mentioning it. Maybe that would help a little bit? (I'm not a huge fan of reading ebooks, but it is worth a mention. But if you don't want to do that, then ignore it.)

Book basket alternatives:
* while waiting for some new ideas, check out the book basket archive
lots of topics on extra lists, library, etc.

*buying some books used for book basket from used sources or consignment sources. You wouldn't have to buy them all at once. A few here and there. Sell them back at some point too. check your state's homeschool convention info for local ideas, or I know there is a vendor who travels who might be able to help??? They are a great vendor. I'm so sad they won't be in Indy this year. oh sniff sniff. BooksBloom.

Does your library do used book sales???
Does anyone in your local homeschool support group have some books sitting in their house that you can borrow?

The other idea would be to change a bit of what you include in book basket so that it is not always about history and science. But that's one of the things I like to have in our basket. You can get magazines to read.

just a few ideas. Looking forward to many others.

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:12 am

Unread post by Jenileigh »

Our library allows us to call in and renew our books, I think twice, which would allow me 6 weeks with the books and no fines. I have been there, you are not alone, its a discipline that is for sure. This year I was blessed to find a *lot* of book baskets for sale used. I think I paid $200 for books from the Adventures Book basket and some for Explorations to 1850. It's been well worth the money, no trips to the library, no late fees. Keep your eyes out. (((amy)))
Daughter of the King
You can find us at
Homeschooling 2 dd's
Youngest-MFW K, 1st, Exp-1850 w/supplement, moving into 1850's-Modern w/supplement
Middle Exp-1850, moving into 1850's-Modern
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Don't feel too bad. This is the first year I've actually paid fines - and I can renew on-line! And the library sends me e-mail reminders when I'm overdue! How's that for bad? Sometimes I just forget.

It happens. If I were you, I would go in and face the music. Apologize, bring homemade cookies for the librarians, and set up a payment plan to pay back what you owe. :-) Our library will not let you check out any more books if you have more than $5 in fines.

Now, to help in the future... Library books and videos must go back into the rolling cart (I got mine at Office Depot for like $15 or $20) when they are done being viewed or read. The kids MUST ask to watch the video, and MUST put it back in the cart when it is done. My dd gets in trouble if I find books on the floor or somewhere else, especially if they are on my card. Trouble means she cannot check out any new books the next time we go to the library. Serious heartbreak when that happens.

If the books are on her card, they must be in her library bag when they are not being read. Our library sells these canvas bags that have the logo on it for a couple of bucks - I bought one for my dd to keep her books in. I limit her to no more than 5 or 6 books at a time, unless she is doing a project for a home school support group activity.

I'll tell you a side story. Prior to the start of this school year, the library had a maximum limit of 99 books. Well, someone got a library card for each district in the area (you're not suppose to - we're in a big metropolis and the library districts will loan books to each other through a special system called Prospector), and checked out the max books in each district (probably at least 6 districts), and then NEVER returned them. He basically stole the books. So, now the limit is 40 books at a time. So, like I said, I would try to fix it right away...

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Unread post by mom2boys »

Hi Amy,

I work pt at a library and I can tell you that one video lost under the dresser and some late fines is NOT the worst that they have seen!! If you get someone crabby checking you in they may act like it, but believe me you are not the worst offender BY FAR.

I agree that they probably have a maximum fine per item so hopefully it will not be as bad as you thought. So go face the music and then let it go.

We will print out a list of items out for patrons if they ask - maybe that would help you keep track and remind you of renewals. Also having a set library day that you go or renew on every week might help.

I love my library and would be very very sad if I had to give it up. So would my kids. There would be a lot less variety in our reading diet if we had to purchase everything.

That's all. Just remember you are NOT the worst library patron!

loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Just wanted to send a {{HUG}} and agree that you are not alone!

Would you believe the book that I could not find anywhere and was going to have to pay over $25 for was called The Lost Little Puppy? Don't you love irony? Finally found it under the toy box. Don't ask. But, the library let us return it for $1, I think. Very, very nice librarian - plus they love chatting with my dd about all the books she reads.

I love Mike's answer - pray about it and let God work it out for you!

Somebody suggested on this board once to keep a list of the checked-out books and videos posted in the schoolroom, and we always do that now. A quick check through the house once a week or so to find everything really helps.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Unread post by LSH in MS »

Our library's maximum fine is $10 per item. They will freeze your card and not allow you to check anymore out until it is paid. One time I lost a book and got tired of looking for it so I just paid for the book. 3 months later I found it when I was cleaning out a closet. I returned it to the library and they refunded my money. I get embarrassed too but usually it is not as bad as you think.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Unread post by my3boys »

I have often thought that if I could make one day a week library day and just make it part of our weekly routine that I could probably do better with it. This doesn't work for me in the winter because I am usually home without a vehicle to go anywhere. With routine weekly trips though you would also take out less books at a time. Another thing that I find helps me to remember stuff is to write it on the calendar in bold letters - I'm trying to train myself to check the calendar first thing every morning and to take care of the bolded reminders immediately (like garbage day or renew library books).
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: OT: Anyone else on the Library's Most Wanted List?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

amylynn12 wrote:it seems to never fail that someone gets sick & it spreads,
A few ideas (based on experience, believe me!):

- Our library does accept illness as an excuse for late returns... You could try asking about that.

- Our library also has a book drop and an e-mail help desk, so you might be able to check things out without showing your red face :o)

- If your card is canceled, you may still be able to use other family members' cards -- and meanwhile incorporate the other ladies' good advice on a new plan!

- Usually the max fine is the purchase price of the item, so you could just chalk it up to purchasing an item once in a while...?

- Just to let you know that my fines were biggest with my oldest son -- who was never homeschooled! And the season did pass.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Unread post by meagabby »

I will admit to having a fine that I didn't find out about until 2 yrs later. We had moved for a temp job out of state and when we returned and went to the library it was there...not a fun surprise either. In my case, that library tries to contact you by mail or phone (which we were not at anymore) then they turn it to collections. They could not reduce the amount, but they did let me pay it and use my card the same day!

Like others have mentioned, we now keep our books in a central 'basket', we use one card to eliminate multiple fines, but I like the idea of older children being responsible for their own cards/fines. And we usually go on a set day of the week, that way I can remember if we always go on a certain day of the week, the books are due on that same day a few weeks later.

You're not alone!
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:42 am

Work it off

Unread post by Alison »

Our library will let you "work off" your fine...perhaps you can read for a children's story time or something like that?
Just an idea!
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:19 pm

Unread post by JenniferF »

Well just to help us all feel better, as I was checking out books one day and talking with the librarian, he said that he too forgets to return books on time and has late fees....and he is there every day! :) Sure made me feel better!
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:00 am

Unread post by peavey »

We used to go once a week, every Thursday, and that worked great for remembering!

However, as others have mentioned, we have two baskets (hanging file folder plastic cubes) that we keep the library books in in the living room. They MUST be returned to those baskets when done reading. The baskets work great because I also tote them to the library when getting new books.

Also, a HUGE key for me: I write up on the corner of our whiteboard (where I put my daily list & do school at) what day the books are due. I look at the white board every day, plus write the date daily up there, so it is a constant reminder when to call/e-mail & renew books.

We check out books from 2 different libraries so we have to be diligent in keeping track of everything!

Post Reply