Top 5 reasons to use the Nashville Library as a homeschooler
First of all, using a library as a homeschooler is a no-brainer. The amount of books and resources a typical homeschool family uses relies heavily on the availability and connections that a library can provide.
Also, I want to make a disclaimer that using the Nashville library system is not a substitute for supporting and advocating for your local library! We financially support and volunteer at our local library (Spring Hill) and visit multiple libraries often! Libraries also make a great pit stop on road trips! (Like this one we visited on our way to Cumberland Gap!) This post is just to shed light on programs you might not know about at the Nashville library!
(Eva Mae is writing a letter to the library mascot "Buttercup")
Before we start, did you know that you can get a Nashville Library card for FREE if you are a Tennessee resident? Even if you're not in Davidson county! The $10 annual charge is for digital content and well worth the annual fee if you are able to go in person and sign up! Bring cash or check only and your TN drivers license!
1. No late feesThat's right - there are no late fees!!! In 2017 the library board and mayor approved the change that would erase fines from the patrons, as well as establish no late fee charges. There are charges for lost or damaged books and your card will not be active if you have not returned or paid for your book after a certain period of time. (Read more)
2. Online convenienceMost libraries now have convenient online reservation and hold systems so this is not that different from other systems. If you do have an item to return it is very easy to renew with just a push of a button! Your online account also keeps track of the books and items you check out! In addition, when you place a hold on an item you can designate which branch you would like to visit to pick up your item! See this map to find your closest branch!
3. Interlibrary loansThis goes hand in hand with the online convenience. When I first began digging into books published between 1940-1960 I ran into the problem where they were either really hard to find, too expensive, or not available in any local library. The interlibrary loan is a system where you can request a book from anywhere in the country and they ship it to the library of your choice for a specific loan period. The online form to use is so convenient! You can find the ISBN number for any book at Worldcat.org and use that information to fill out your request form. I've been able to borrow some wonderful Milicent Selsam books with this tool as well as the books in the picture below! I think it's a feature that many people are unaware at how helpful it can be in your homeschool! Read more about it here!
4. Hoopla and other digital contentMost libraries now have an option for you to check out a certain number of titles a month with Hoopla. I know our Spring Hill branch allows 4 a month. The Nashville library allows 10 a month! Plus, you have access to the Overdrive (Libby) collection and RBDigital. I also like the language learning, genealogy, and more you can access! See all options here
5. Curriculum kitsThis is the latest feature that I have used - a HUGE bin full of amazing books and videos on various topics! You can only check 1 bin out at a time. I recently checked out the Garden and Plants curriculum kit and it is filled with over 20 picture books and 4 DVDs to read and show my students about the wonder of growing things! Read about the curriculum kits here!
I love that I'll have 6 weeks to keep this bin and use in the nature classes I teach! (I did an unboxing of this kit in our Wild+Free Facebook group.)
As a bonus, I'll talk about how awesome the main branch is of the Nashville Library!!! The children's area is like none other I have seen. The Nashville city climbing structure is so much fun for children to explore. The LEGO table and other building toys encourage STEM learning (for older children they also have a 3D printer!) The small little puppet theater in the likeness of the Ryman encourages imagination and creativity! And of course the main puppet theater has AMAZING shows and children programming that rivals any high cost children's theater ticketed program! See the calendar of puppet shows here!
They also have other events for homeschoolers at the main branch. You can view all the events for the main branch here.
And if driving downtown gives you high blood pressure, know that there is affordable parking in the attached parking garage! I always exit 65 at Church St. and turn right on 7th to enter the parking garage on the left! There are many more reasons to love the library - these are just my top 5! What is your favorite feature?