Using Custom Collections From Your Library

Does your public library have a “customs collection” service? The Fort Wayne, IN public library system does, and it is amazing. If you aren’t aware of this, I suggest calling your library and asking about it–especially if you teach using unit studies of any kind.

In this service, you submit (via online form or in person on paper) a list of the topics you are studying, the types of materials you desire (i.e. videos, audios, picture books, etc. or combinations!), the ages you are teaching, etc., and the librarian gathers those materials for you and has the ready for you to pick up! Some have thirty, forty, or fifty item limits—some do not have limits at all.

Moms using unit studies, such as My Father’s World, have told me that they just type in their entire book basket list (sometimes with the extras)—and the librarians gather all of the books they need for that study!

Other moms have told me that they get their kids’ chapter book lists via this approach. Still others do their entire “Five in a Row” or other story time books.

The possibilities are endless (depending on your library’s policies): (1) List a time period and a grade span; (2) Give a book list that correlates with your unit studies; (3) Give an author (Laura Ingalls Wilder) and list the types (I did this for all of Wilder’s books on audio at one time!); (4) Give a topic list and the types of materials you want (audio books, videos, chapter books, picture books, etc.) along with the grade levels.

Check at your local library for next year! It is never too early to start planning! 🙂

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