A Life-Changing Library Hack For Parents

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library hack

Soft talking. Only walking.

My toddler and I review our library mantra before we enter the main wing each week after library story time, which is held in a separate wing. She knows the rules. But, as rehearsed as she is in reciting them, applying them is a different story.

Sharing my love of books was one of the things I looked forward to most about motherhood. And the older my one and two-year-old get, the more I have enjoyed making this a reality. What I didn’t realize in my motherhood fantasy is how hard trips to the library would actually be with my little posse in tow.

The moment my toddler enters, she can’t help but race towards the kids’ DVDs. She also can’t quite contain her excitement or her volume as she loudly lists every licensed character she recognizes, begging to take home the most annoying options available. Meanwhile, my one-year-old’s whine slowly climbs to a full-fledged cry because he wants out of the stroller, and I start sweating.

Suffice it to say, walking and hushed tones – much less more refined preferences – are still a little too much to ask of them.

Someday, this won’t be the case. Someday, I can let both of my kids loose in the library and not worry about a high speed chase in one direction and destruction in the other. Someday, the beauty and magic of roaming the library to randomly peruse will be restored and won’t involve chaos, tears, and lots of antiperspirant. 

We aren’t there yet. And until we get there, I plan to keep on using the library HOLDS and PICK UP service.

This hack has been a library life changer. It’s like the concept of grocery store instacart but cheaper. All you need to do is:

  1. Head to your county library website
  2. Activate your online account using your library card
  3. Log into your account
  4. Place the titles you want on hold
  5. Wait for e-mail notification that your books are ready
  6. Pick up your items later (within a week)

Our library does charge .25 per hold, but this is a price I’m more than willing to pay because it’s making my life so much easier.

Not only do I love the ease of this system, I love that I can basically preview my Amazon book wish list without the investment. I read a lot of blogs that feature adorable children’s books, and I don’t have enough space or money for all the books I see and want. Putting these titles on hold and picking them up when a big batch is ready has been the perfect system for us in this stage of our lives.

I head to the library, pick up our neat book bundle, and we are on our way. No chase, no clean up, no tears.

Well maybe some tears. But way fewer than we would have had without this amazing service.

Anyone else obsessed with holds and pick up? Any other library hacks that are making your life easier? I would love to hear them.

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Eleven years of OC living, seven years of teaching high school English, a husband, and two babies later, Katie is now experimenting with stay-at-home mom life. She used to think staying at home was easier than teaching full time, but after having two she’s not so sure. She has found that writing allows her to ponder the joys and struggles of motherhood while using vocabulary that contains more than one syllable. Katie is always open to life’s possibilities except when those possibilities interfere with nap schedules. If there were hidden cameras in her house, they would show her eating treats far too often to call them “treats” and sipping on the same coffee throughout the day. She also does her fair share of cooking, social media stalking, pinteresting, and podcast listening. When she used to have time for hobbies, she enjoyed coffee shop hopping, Netflix binging, shopping, decorating, crafting, and DIY’ing.