Tip Tuesday – July 27th

July 27, 2010

It’s Tuesday and as promised, I am sharing another tip that works for me. πŸ™‚

About a month ago, I popped into my local library and signed up for a free membership. I figured at the time that I would be using my new library card to borrow books/DVDs/CDs for Baby Q and D. I had also hoped that on rainy days, we would enjoy participating in their children’s programming. Who doesn’t love a puppet show now and then, right?

Despite my love affair with reading and the fact that I am in two book clubs, it had never occurred to me to visit the library to find what I was looking for. After all, what parent has the time to browse the bookshelves in their library, hoping to discover a resource they would find helpful? Who wants to have to keep checking to see if the book they want has been returned? And who has the energy to drive an hour out of town, with two kids in the backseat, to pick up the ONE remaining copy of Oprah’s book club pick of the month?

A fellow Mommy and friend overheard me asking these questions at a playdate a few weeks ago and set me straight. (Turns out I am not the first person to have realized that these inconveniences deter us all from the full benefits our libraries have to offer.) A lot has changed since I was a nerdy little girl waiting for the mobile library to come to town. (I’m not nearly as old as that statement just made me sound, I swear.) πŸ™‚

Many libraries (including mine) are now branching out and offering the option to browse their online catalogues from your home computer as well as downloading digital media as a way to make resources more accessible. (Digital media includes content you can download onto your MP3 players, smart phones and computers and can be either reading material formatted for these devices or audio files you can listen to.) I have an iPod Touch, so this seemed like an excellent option for me to explore further.

Before I could get started, I had to download a few small software programs for my iPod Touch and laptop. The library’s site told me exactly what I needed to do and it was all free. It did take a little time the first night I decided to investigate this new way of ‘going’ to the library, but most of that time was spent browsing the many books I wanted to add to my wish list. It really is a geek’s paradise on there…and I am fully qualified to say so. πŸ˜€

And have I mentioned the holds? Oh, the convenience! Let’s say you get browsing and find that the library only has 1 copy of your favorite ADHD resource – ‘Driven to Distraction’ by Edward Hallowell, M.D. – and it’s checked out at the moment. Before sighing loudly and thinking how unfair the universe is (it’s ok, I’ve been there on a bad day), remember you can place a hold on the book and choose a library for it to be delivered to when it becomes available. A few days (or weeks) later, you’ll get a call from the library saying it is ready to be picked up. Easy, right?

This also works wonders if your child is having a bouncing-off-the-walls kind of day. Turn on your computer, get a cup of coffee and start browsing from the comfort of your home for whatever will bring you or your little ones some reading pleasure.

I am still learning how to navigate the online services, but I must admit that so far I am impressed!Β Using the library to find resources and research ADD/ADHD has allowed me to save money while checking out resources before deciding whether to buy Β a copy for my ADHD bookshelf. It has also allowed me to find a few great summer reads to help me unwind after some tense and tiring days in the parenting trenches.

Will you try it? πŸ™‚

This message was not paid for or brought to you by the libraries. πŸ˜›

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