Well, I tried…

by | Jun 16, 2009 | Books, Geography | 12 comments

I mentioned last week, in my American History post, that I wished we had the Discover America State by State Series available at our library. After Lisa suggested (in the comments) using Inter-library loan, I looked into that possibility only to find that our library charges $5.00 PER BOOK, even if they are unable to obtain the title.

I then decided to try and convince my library TO PURCHASE the set! Well, no such luck. Here is a copy of the email I just received:

Hi, Jessica,

I received your request that we purchase the Discover America Alphabet series of state books. While the factual content of these books is certainly acceptable for a library collection, I was a little concerned about the publication dates on some titles in the series. We are actually trying to update our collection of books on the states because we frequently have requests from patrons who want newer information.

After discussing this with the [our town] branch manager, we have decided to look for a series that is more up-to-date to add to the [our town] children’s collection. [Our town] does have The World Almanac Library of the States which we hope will be a reasonable substitute for your geography curriculum.

We really appreciate your suggestions and I am ordering We the Kids by David Catrow.


So, do any of you know anything about The World Almanac Library of the States?

I’d love to hear what you use for teaching your children Geography!


  1. Anonymous

    Didn't they just republish this series?? I know we bought the Oregon one.

    What a bummer!

  2. Elizabeth Foss

    You're kidding!I just pulled eight of them off my shelf randomly. Here are the pub dates:
    2003 (NY and includes the World Trade Center attacks)
    2002(This is Colorado and I think it was one of the first published.)

    These don't seem terribly dated.
    Let me think on this a bit…

  3. Jessica Gordon

    I agree Elizabeth. They don't seem dated at all!!

    "The World Almanac Library of the States" doesn't look very interesting, so no wonder people have complained about those being "dated". Even though I have only seen a couple of the books in the Discover America Series, I LOVE THEM!! I really thought I would be able to convince our library to purchase them… The only one they have available is the one for our state, which is CURRENTLY used at our local public school!

    I would love to hear any suggestions you may have for me! =)

    Thank you!!

  4. Anonymous

    I'm with you and Elizabeth. I only own a few of the series, but we managed to borrow all the rest through Inter-Library Loan. The books are wonderful regardless of the publication date. They should look at the website and at amazon to see how popular the books are!

  5. Margaret

    Since I don't homeschool, I might not be much help but I have to tell you I LOVE GeoPuzzles. We have each one. The cool thing is the puzzle pieces are the shape of the country. I bought mine at Learning Palace in my town http://www.geotoystore.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99&Itemid=122

    Also, there is a TON of information online from National Geographic. There are some good ideas at this site

    which is attached to the Geographic Bee that my kids participate in at our school. Homeschool kids can do it too I believe. But they do have to be in grades 4th and up I believe.

  6. Unknown


    We are trying to get them into our library system here too but have not gotten a response back yet. Here, we don't have any of the state books, nor R is for Rhyme or M is for Masterpiece either:(

    We have not been able to find a good substitute, so I will be following this mission very closely.

  7. Allison

    I am so glad to finally be able to visit. For weeks I kept getting an abort message everytime I went to your blog!

    Did you have to move or lose your Followers too?

    Would love to see the books you mentioned.

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Mimi ~ I ended up just purchasing R is for Rhyme; M is for Melody; and M is for Masterpiece. I figured they would be great additions to our collection. I sure wish I could afford to purchase the state books as well, but they just don't fit into my budget at this point. 🙁 I hope you have better luck with your library! 🙂

    Meg ~ Thanks for the puzzle recommendations! Those look great!

    +JMJ+ ~ I am so sorry to hear that?! I haven't changed anything recently — I wonder what the problem was?!

  9. Allison

    Hi Jessica!

    Evidently, according to BLOGGER's "Known issues" site, for quite a while they've been hearing about site aborts and attribute it to the Followers widget. They say they are working on it but it's been forever. One recommendation was to lose or move your followers widget to the bottom of your side bar…which I did and I could then access my own blog.

    Another recommendation was to swtich to moxilla foxfire as a browser but a google search on that identified it's own set of problems….sigh….

    Glad to hear it is not a problem for you and I am very glad to be visiting you again!

  10. Lisa Sweet

    Oh what a shame. I didn't realize that some libraries charge for inter-library loan!!
    I did manage to find some of them on ebay and got them fairly inexpensively.
    What about a different library?

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Well, we have 15 branches in our library system (which we can check books out of, and request to be shipped to our local branch at no charge) — all within the southern part of our state. It is actually a great system, now that they are back open (they closed for quite some time due to lack of funds).

    The interlibrary loan program in our area, is to go outside those 15 branches to other parts of the state/country. Does that make sense? So, as for libraries, we don't have any other options…

    I'll have to start watching ebay and Amazons used books. =)

  12. The Wades

    Good try. I'm impressed that you contacted them in the first place.


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