Friday, June 6, 2008

Do All Australian Libraries Rock Like This???

I'd seen it from the road and it looked pretty freaking cute... very one-room-schoolhouse-esque, but in the form of a library. So a couple of weeks ago, my brilliant, genius four year old (did I mention he reads) and I, went for a big excursion to check it out. And check out we did, we checked out so much stuff-- I could not believe they were actually letting us take it all home with us... they don't even know us, and what we're capable of.

So we went home with our free rentals (okay, I know they call it loaning) of three DVD's- Alice In Wonderland, Dumbo, and a Dr. Seuss movie. Yes, don't worry, we got actual books too.

I thought the DVD's were due back after one week-- of course we were a week late on that, and I was mentally prepared for my late fees which I guesstimated at around $20 for the DVD trio. But when I went to pay my fees---they were $.90-- yes 90 cents!!! Huh?

Not sure if they just weren't all overdue, or if the late fees are just really, really cheap? I even told the library lady I thought it was going to be more. As a side note, I'm not sure if I should be calling her the "librarian" or the "library lady" because she made it clear she was "just a casual" (that's Australian for casual worker, which I basically interpret as a part time worker with less commitment on both employee and employer sides-- but that's a topic in itself for another posting).

On second thought, let me give library lady the respect she truly deserves... from this point on she is to be known only as "best librarian ever", because she truly was one of the most helpful people I have met in Australia. I think she was genuinely happy to be recommending books for us... and then she gave me the most important information-- she told me that if we wanted to extend our due dates, we can do it online-- even for the toys.

And I was like-- "doh!-- did you just say toys?"

And best librarian ever was like-- "Oh yes, we have a wonderful toy cupboard."

And I was like-- "Bring me there, oh best librarian ever-- I do like libraries, I do, yippie."

She then advised me that it's a liability to let people into the toy cupboard (yep, I'm still wondering what that meant)... but she proceeded to whip out two large photo albums, which she referred to as the "toy catalogs". Omigod, she really was serious-- and I was seriously in awe.

Today's load from the library blows away what I got a couple weeks ago, and I had been really, really happy about that one. Here's the toys I scored at the library today:

And here are the toys on loan to us for the next fews weeks-- unless we do renewals, then it could actually be months!

Yes-- we got an abacus, a pirate ship with all the accessories, a Little Tikes shopping trolley (that's Australian for grocery cart), and a nice wooden puzzle.

I know, I can't believe it either!

So I end this post with some questions:

Do all Australian libraries have toys you can check out?
Do American libraries have toys?
Do you need certain qualifications to be considered a real librarian?
Why haven't I gone to a library in about 20 years?
Do you library?



The Taskers said...

Dear Florida Girl,
Let me introduce myself - I'm American-gone-Aussie-gone-back-to-America girl (I got linked to your blog through Utah Girl in Sydney; who has a mutual friend with me). I've just taken the time to go through your entire blog and am loving. I've actually just relocated to Santa Monica from Perth - where I've been for the last 7 years. I married an Aussie (there are some good ones out there) and even became a dual citizen myself 3 years ago. After living there 7 years I've learnt how to handle them - so if you need any tips, let me know!
To answer your questions: Not all Aussie libraries have toys, though there are specific "Toy Libraries" that you can join! I've never seen toys in American libraries, but then again, I'm with you, and it's been 20 years since I'd been to a library. But kids will change that and my two-year-old LOVES the library, so we go now too! And yes, there are certain qualifications one can get to become a Librarian in Australia (I had a friend who was one).

As we've moved back here I'm now facing reverse culture shock and starting over in what is essentially "home" (yes - Goldfish and Helman's on every shelf) but in a place where I have no friends or contacts. Isn't life strange! Keep up the great blogging - and if you'd like to check out mine as well its

Kimberly Erin said...

This is the person with the "insanely cute baby picture" blog. I got your comment and it took me a while to realize that i didn't know you and you were just looking at random blogs. I guess that's what motherhood does to you, huh? Thanks for the compliment. I enjoyed reading about your adventured in sydney.

Tors said...

Yep, we library too! :) Our libraries run storytime sessions for preschoolers on various days of the week (depending on the branch). Some branches have toys to play with and some don't. But the best part? No late fees at all! Ever!

Also, if you check out a book at one branch, you can return it to any branch in that library system. I don't remember that in the States - where I lived, you had to return your books to the place where you checked them out, and nowhere else.

I've considered starting over and getting my degree in Library Studies. To get a job where I live, you need at least a diploma-level qualification. Those ladies are very well-educated!

floridagirlinsydney said...

Hey Tors-- can you check toys out from your library and take them home for weeks at a time? I really couldn't believe it!-- and the selection. I may never buy another toy again, uh, yeah right.

I love that feature of being able to return your books to any location- have no idea if I can do that here?

floridagirlinsydney said...

Oh, and the no late fees-- wow.

Tors said...

I think you can check toys out of the library, but not for as long as the books - maybe only a week. But still! Toys at the library! :yaay:

Jill said...

I totally wanted to answer all of your questions in my comment, but the truth is- i had not one answer. I am so glad the the taskers actually had some real answers for you. it helped me too.

iDream said...

Hi Florida Girl,
I would be moving to Sydney next month with 2 kids 2 and 4 yrs old. It'll be really helpful if you could let me know where was this library?
Or where can I find more libraries like this. I, for now, have no idea where I would be staying, so I am gathering as much info possible.