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Helping Homeschoolers in the Library. Adrienne Furness [email protected] Homeschooling in the United States . 2003 report from the National Center for Education Statistics More than 1.1 million children and teens homeschooled in 2003 2.2% of the school-aged population .

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Helping homeschoolers in the library l.jpg

Helping Homeschoolers in the Library

Adrienne Furness

[email protected]


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Homeschooling in the United States

  • 2003 report from the National Center for Education Statistics

  • More than 1.1 million children and teens homeschooled in 2003

  • 2.2% of the school-aged population


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1.1 million and growing…

Figure 1. Estimated number and 95 percent confidence interval for number of homeschooled students, ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through 12th grade: 1999 and 2003





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“Homeschoolers at the Public Library: Are Library Services and Policies Keeping Pace?” by Amy McCarthy and Deborah Lines Andersen


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The Ten Easiest Things and Policies Keeping Pace?” by Amy McCarthy and Deborah Lines Andersen

You Can Do to Better

Serve Homeschoolers


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#1: Talk to homeschoolers who visit the library. and Policies Keeping Pace?” by Amy McCarthy and Deborah Lines Andersen

  • Start finding out what the homeschoolers in your area are looking for.

  • Not all homeschoolers are the same.


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#2: Make sure people can find homeschooling materials. and Policies Keeping Pace?” by Amy McCarthy and Deborah Lines Andersen

  • They can’t check out what they can’t find.

  • Make a special section for homeschooling materials.

  • A spine label or pathfinder could work.


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#3: Learn what homeschooling groups are active in your community, what their missions are, and who is running them.

  • Tap into existing networks.

  • Word-of-mouth.

  • Remember that homeschoolers can be ultra-sensitive about privacy issues.


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#4: Allow and encourage homeschoolers to use library meeting room space.

  • This gets the homeschoolers in your library.

  • Maybe they’ll even let you talk.




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#7: Maintain a file of catalogs from companies that sell materials and supplies of interest to homeschoolers.

  • Store in boxes.

  • Circulate or make reference.

  • Could also devote a portion of your website to this.


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#8: Extend any privileges you extend to public and private school teachers (extended loan, no overdue fines, increased limits, etc.) to homeschoolers.

  • Homeschooling parents are teachers.

  • Risk vs. benefit.


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#9: Consider the needs of homeschoolers when creating library policies.

  • Meeting rooms

  • Loan periods

  • Item limits

  • Interlibrary loan fees

  • Overdue fines/maximum fines

  • Volunteer programs


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#10: Attend local homeschooling conferences, lectures, and curriculum fairs.

  • Talk to homeschoolers.

  • Hear what they’re talking about.

  • Look at potential acquisions for your collection.

  • LEAH (Loving Education at Home) annual conference in Syracuse (www.leah.org).


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Looking for more? curriculum fairs.

  • Homeschoolingandlibraries.wordpress.com

  • Helping Homeschoolers in the Library due out from ALA Editions in January 2008!


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