Introducing the Newton Family Library
Our family library specializes in Christian and homeschool resources and is open to friends, family, and homeschoolers on and near Whidbey Island.
Hello readers and homeschoolers. I want to introduce you to my family library, which is open to friends, family, and homeschoolers on and near Whidbey Island.
In future newsletters, I plan to highlight different collections in my library and feature favorite books or other resources. Please subscribe if this newsletter interests you.
The Newton Family Library began when two bibliophiles, Doug and I, married in 1991. With a degree in English literature, I brought many books into our marriage. Doug double majored in mathematics and computer science but also owned Christian books, biblical reference works, and a collection of science fiction.
When our son reached school age in 2004, Doug decided to arrange our books by a simplified version of the Library of Congress system. While attending college, he worked at the Seattle Pacific University library and learned this cataloging system. He prefers it over the Dewey Decimal system.
Both of us have some experience working in church libraries, and I worked for two years in a Christian book store as the inventory data entry person and oversaw customers’ special orders. So, organizing a library came to us naturally.
Our book collection filled one wall of shelves before we began homeschooling. By the time we moved to Whidbey Island in 2014, we had ten overflowing bookcases in our schoolroom, plus books in our office spaces and bedrooms. In addition, we had several educational DVDs.
Cataloging with a Library Database
Around 2009, a homeschool mom told me about LibraryThing.com, which she used to inventory her books. Because we sometimes lend out books, I thought this website would help us keep track of our books. Also, as a homeschooler who often browses used bookstores and garage sales, I tend to buy a book only to find out later we already own a copy. By having my book collection online, I could check it before accidentally buying a duplicate volume.
However, I have yet to get our entire library cataloged. I’ve uploaded over 1400 titles as of August 2022.
Using a Library Cat
Realizing that my homeschooling career was soon to end when our son graduated in 2018, and our daughter started high school at Academy Northwest, I decided to become a homeschool mentor and librarian. So, I joined the Tinycat library service that LibraryThing offers small libraries. Through my Tinycat website, Newton_Books, people can access my library database and request to borrow a resource.
Newton Books from A to Z (almost)
Here’s a summary of our home library collections based on the Library of Congress lettering system.
A. General works such as dictionaries
B. Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion
A few volumes on philosophy, psychology, and logic
World religions and cults
An extensive collection on Christianity, the Bible, Theology, Apologetics, and Worldview
C. Auxiliary Sciences of History
A few books on Archaeology and Genealogy
A large selection of juvenile and adult level Biographies. Many feature missionaries, including 25 titles from the YWAM “Christian Heroes Then & Now” series.
D. World History: mostly Western Civilization
E. US History: includes titles that focus on how Christianity shaped American history.
F. State History: mostly Washington state
G. Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation
Atlases, maps, and other books on geography
Cultures and customs from around the world
H. Social Sciences
Economics & Personal Finance
Family: marriage, parenting, adoption
J. Political Sciences
Political science textbooks (my minor in college)
US government and the Constitution
K. Law: such as The Federalist Papers
History of education, issues in education, and homeschooling
Teaching manuals on various topics.
M. Music: including CD recordings
N. Fine Arts: including replicas of classic artwork
P. Language and Literature
General works on language (writing, grammar, etc.)
British & American literature
English translations of a few pieces of world literature and a collection of ancient Greco-Roman literature.
Drama (Shakespeare!) and Poetry
Fiction: picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and adult level. Many historical fiction titles.
Mathematics & Computer Science: mostly my husband’s books
Physics & Chemistry
Geology & Paleontology
Biology: Botany & Zoology
Creation Science books and textbooks; published mainly by Answers in Genesis
Science experiment books
R. Medicine: a handful of health books
S. Agriculture: gardening
Children’s books on machines and manufacturing
Home economics: cooking and sewing
Several of these collections contain children’s and juvenile books but not all.
Take a look at Newton_Books and find something that interests you. Books need to be read and circulated.