What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “free library resources?” Books? DVDs?
Today’s libraries offer so much more! With an internet-connected computer and a valid library card (and sometimes a pin number), thousands of free resources are available to you!
Interlibrary Loan System
Most libraries are connected with an interlibrary loan system, and you are able to check out books from libraries all over the country. Ask your branch about their system. Most of the time you can request books online and they’ll find them for you.
Libraries have a wealth of online resources (databases and e-sources) on their websites for students. What’s great about these? They’re “referred” sources—true, authoritative sources far better than Google. Search your library’s website for “e-sources” or homework resources.
Field and/or Resource Trips
Plan a field trip to the library. The children’s or youth services librarian will be happy to make your visit so much more than just a tour of the library. One of the things the librarian can do is show your group how to use the online resources available to them. If you’re working on a specific unit or project, she can also gather materials for you and/or help you and the children find materials.
Book Clubs for Children
Many libraries have book clubs for children. My librarian friend Judy Gann has a weekly children’s book group at her library. “Most of the attendees are homeschoolers,” says Judy. “This is a great way for homeschoolers to participate in a group activity. Most of these book clubs meet once a month, and the library staff will tell you the book for the next month ahead of time so you can determine if it is appropriate for your child.”
Book Club Kits
Some libraries offer book club kits for children. Most kits consist of twelve to fifteen copies of a title with discussion questions if you’d like to do a book club with other students.
Most libraries have monthly school-age programs at the library during the school year. And don’t forget the summer reading program! Many libraries have special classes or programs. Looking at our local library’s schedule, these are some of the things they offer: Family Movie Night, Knitting Circle, Theatre Camp, Writer’s Workshop, Snack Attack (Cooking), Finger Knitting, Lego Block Parties, Puppet Shows, and Storytime. If you have an idea for an activity you’d like to coordinate, talk to your local librarian.
Some libraries will schedule computer classes for your children if you ask.
Shannon: “My library offers free classes of all kinds for kids: art, science, history, etc. They also have language programs I can access through them for free online that I will use to help teach Hebrew next year.”
Libraries have a variety of booklists of suggested titles for different age groups and on many subjects.
Many libraries provide a link to “Homework Help” on their website. Some libraries give you access to websites like Tutor.com for free!
Ryan: “My daughter uses a program from the library for her to learn Chinese.”
Find out other free library resources and read the rest of this post at FreeHomeschoolDeals.com.