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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

WFMW: Keeping Track of Library Books

We're big library users. HUGE library users. We go at least once a week, and most weeks we're there more often. Our library is the busiest library in our state, and one of the most used libraries in the country. We have an incredibly wonderful library with a huge inventory of books, media, tools (yes, you can take out tools!), and large halls for art shows and presentations.

One of the problems with having so much access to the library is that we're constantly taking out and returning books, and we tend to lose stuff in the clutter is our house. When we lost a DVD for a couple of months in our house and the fines were, oh let's say big, I finally cracked down and instituted a new procedure.

All of our library stuff, books and DVDs, are kept in big canvas tote bags that hang from a hook over our closet door. If you use a DVD or a book, you take it out and circle the printout with your initials on the side. When you return it to the bag, you cross out your initials so the next person can use it.

With two DVD players (son's XBox is his) we were really unable to keep all the stuff together. Now, when I go to return a pile of books and DVDs, or even CDs, I know where to look for anything that's missing.

It works for us!

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11 Comments:

Blogger Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

I have the same problem! I love this idea. I kept trying to find a basket or something like that, but the canvas tote is a great idea. I too had a fine for a DVD that I thought I lost, but was on top of the TV the whole time!

24/6/08 11:10 PM  
Blogger Kit said...

I love this idea! Our worst library story was that we were listening to a book on CD in the car and our CD player broke. That was last summer...the third CD of Henry and Ribsy is still in there...our kind library hasn't charged me yet. We will retrieve it someday!
Thanks!

24/6/08 11:24 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hmmm, I am afraid that I can't help. I am a librarian and yet I still get fines myself!!

I try to leave my books in a pile by the front door so that at least I know where they should be and they they are not my books! But it doesn't always work!

25/6/08 4:10 AM  
Blogger Tami@ourhouse said...

Great idea. We have a library habit, four kids aged 6 and under, so it goes without saying that we need a way to keep up with the books.

Sounds like you have a library of your own going on. I love the canvas tote idea.

I'm glad I found your blog. I am on the other side of the fence, so to speak (I'm conservative), and I really enjoy reading and learning about the liberal viewpoint. My husband's family has some of the same health issues you described in your profile, and I am sorry that you have to deal with all that.

25/6/08 6:18 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Great system! We have a plastic bin we use for all returnables (library & video store). I love your print-out sheet that goes with...

25/6/08 8:04 AM  
Blogger kartho said...

I do something very similar. I keep my canvas library bag hanging on our coat tree by the front door, and we put the books back in the bag as we finish them. My library gives me a printed receipt with everything on it that I borrowed and the due date, so I just keep that in the bag, and before I go to the library, I do a quick little inventory. Plus I use my library's website almost daily. I can see what I have out (in case I lose the receipt) and I can reserve books to pick up next time I go. Whenever I hear of a book I want to read, I reserve it right away on the website. Love the library!

25/6/08 11:03 AM  
Blogger Jendeis said...

Brilliant idea!

25/6/08 11:14 AM  
Blogger hschinske said...

We have five people in the family who all get books from the public library: add in two different school libraries and the university library and you're talking the potential for real chaos (especially when a book gets dutifully returned, but to the wrong library -- they do get sorted out eventually, but it takes a long time). You don't even want to know how big the university library fines are for lost books! (Plus, they don't pay you BACK if you find the book, as our public library does!)

We have a bookshelf near the front door that is dedicated to library books. Labels on the shelves indicate the public-library piles for each person, with one pile for "ready to go back" books. The bottom shelf is split between school and university library books.

I know this sounds as if we were incredibly hyperorganized, but believe me, we're not generally so. Dire necessity drove us hither.

Helen

25/6/08 11:27 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I've had the same problem, mainly with audio books for Amigo. Now that it's summer, we'll be going more often, and that eliminates most of our troubles. But in the fall...we're there! Library bag, all set to go.

25/6/08 4:30 PM  
Blogger Audra Marie said...

I like your printout idea. I may have to try that one. :)

26/6/08 12:35 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Helen! HELEN!!!! Long time no speak. How ARE you? I wish I knew how to get in touch with you, but your blogger ID isn't attached to any email. So if you see this, email me. I'd love to catch up. It's been way too long.

M

27/6/08 5:37 AM  

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