Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I worked for Allen County Public Library for a few years after college. I was spoiled living in a town with such a great library system. In high school I often met classmates at the library on Sunday afternoons to work on school projects.When I was teaching I would put on hold about 50 books at a time, just go to the library and check them out for my class, the librarians found all the books for me. We had a few overdue books but the students never lost or damaged any of those hundreds of books that I checked out. Sometimes I would give the librarian a topic and they would reserve as many books on that topic as I wanted and then I would just go pick them up, I didn't have to do the research myself.
Then we moved to MN and I think our home library had more books than the small town library 7 miles away. I never went to the library to browse and check out books. Instead I put on hold about 50 books at a time for homeschooling and would go to the library to pick them up when they arrived at my small library.
Everyone told me we would love moving here with the wonderful library system. All programs were canceled in December so I haven't been able to take the Lambs to storytime or programs so I can't judge those yet. The other night I sat down to order some books to be helpful as new homeowners (when we get to that point), about purchasing a piano and gardening in ID. Then I decided while I was there I should probably order some books for homeschooling. And maybe I should get a book for myself just to read for fun. The book that I chose for fun-the library owns 21 copies and there are 67 holds. It will be a long time until I get that book for fun. Then when I got to my 6th book to order, the computer said I had exceeded my limit for holds. Really, you can only have 5 books on hold at a time? Even when you know you are going to have to wait months for at least one of those 5? This is going to be a pain to order 5 books at a time and remember to get back to it after I check out those 5 books, instead of sitting down and ordering all the books while I am lesson planning.
I think I have a high standard for libraries after living in Allen County, IN. I am hoping that the homeschool program on Wednesday afternoons is great. I am thankful that we are part of this library system and can check out books from the neighboring city library, even if it is only 5 at a time. If we only lived one town over we would not be part of this library system.
So, is there a limit on holds at your public library?


joelle said...

I think your library in IN had extremely high limits for putting books on hold! Wow! I'm not sure what our limit is, but I usually just do 1 at a time and find other books to read. I guess I'm just not that picky of a reader.
I'm curious what book you chose - 21 copies and 67 holds?? Is that for the whole consortium or just for your branch of the library?
When I worked at the TF library, we would pick up a few books for a patron, but I don't know if we'd have time to find 50! Were there a lot of librarians at your library in IN or did they not have much to do? I'm just amazed at what you wrote. Glad I got a mention in your other post :)

joelle said...

OH - And thanks for getting Katy and the Big Snow for me from your library! We did our first reading of it yesterday. Audrey enjoyed making a town out of blocks - fun!

MooreMama said...

We have library cards for each member of our family. Could you get one for each lamb, reserve 5 books for each of them, and then have yours and Ram's as well?

Helpful Teacher said...


Sorry to hear about the 5-book limit.

I would exceed that limit for just one subject (history, for example). And the way ds8 goes through chapter books I've always got 1/2 on hold for him from certain serieses (is that a word)?

Is there an exemption for educators?

I agree with everyone having a card--You'd really up your limit there, although it would be harder to keep track of.

Kristen said...

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but Allen County now has a 5 book hold limit, too. It's been like that since I moved here three years ago. There are no exceptions with an educator either. Sigh. As soon as I'm picking up my holds, I'm putting more on hold!