Ok, I admit it. I haven't taken the kids to the library in a long long time. Not that I haven't wanted to, or certainly not that I haven't intended to. I lost my library card. Maybe the dog ate it ;)
We live in the barely-populated triangular void made by three nearby cities. One of them huge, the other two fairly normal-sized (10,000 people, give or take). City #1 is too large and I honestly have no clue where the closest library is. Not to mention the recent kidnapping attempts and child sexual assaults that have happened at libraries there the last few weeks. I love the library in City #2, but have already lost my library card there once and had a replacement made, which I have now lost again. To spare my embarrassment, I went searching City #3 for their library. I drove around for almost an hour before I found it, and this was based on directions from a resident (sad, really). The library was too small for the number of books it contained. The play area, while very nice, was in the open and literally 4 feet from the adult section. I thought it would be best if I looked for the books we came for, so my son sat reading books to his sisters in the play area. The entire time we were there, I only found one book between taking children to the bathroom and dodging dirty looks from every adult in the place because of my "noisy" children. I ended up leaving the book and just getting out of there.
So today, I swallowed my pride and went back to library #2. Their children's section and play area are in separate room, with walls and doors to reduce any noise coming from there. They understand that children have only two voices - whisper and yell - and often use them at the inappropriate times. And they have puppets, which keep my toddler from yanking every book off the shelves. I turned my kids loose in the play area and headed for the "card catalogue," which is now located on the computer. Easier to use, but I sure wish I could find a real catalogue to at least show my children how to use it.
After hunting up The Well-Trained Mind and How to Reach and Teach Children With Dyslexia, and discovering my fruitless hunt for origami books was caused by my lack of ability to spell "origami," I walked to the desk and confessed my disorganization and irresponsibility to the clerk. She told me I could borrow these books today without my card, which gives me more time to look for it at home (yeah, right), and the replacement card if I need one would be $3.
Well, I wanted to support that library anyway. May as well be in fees.