My city is pretty lucky to have a good library system; we have 18 locations all over the city, so pretty much everyone has easy access to a branch. The libraries have tons of books, and if they don’t have it, you can request an inter-library loan, or recommend our library buy a copy. You can have materials from that branch sent to this branch so you don’t have to drive all over town to get what you need. You can rent DVDs and CDs, and they have a great collection of audiobooks and e-books you can access any time. Don’t even get me started on all of the programs and services they offer for free!
As a kid, we went to the library every Saturday. I picked out a stack of books, and always had them finished by the next visit. I worked at the library in high school, volunteered there during grad school, and worked there after I got my Master of Library Science. I still visit every week or two to pick up my requested holds – for home and school use! It’s a great resource to complement my school’s collection, since we’re such a small, independent school. I check out books for teachers to use in their classrooms, but also for me to share with students of all ages.
For a few years I was all about e-books, because it’s so easy to find a new book and start reading when you’re nursing a newborn or being as quiet as possible while your baby naps. But now that my son is older, I’m trying to be on screens less, so I’m back to physical books. I like that he sees me reading, and I love that he is so excited about going to the library and picking out his own books! He often has a theme in mind; last visit he wanted to find books about stars.
Don’t get me wrong – we still own books, though we’ve slowed down our acquisitions and get rid of titles we don’t truly love. If the library doesn’t have a book, I’ll request it on Paperback Swap. If I really need it (yes, books are more of a need than a want in this house!), I might order it from Amazon – preferably used, because once a brand new book gets a crease, I feel so guilty for not being a better book owner. Our shelves are overflowing with picture books, and chapter books I loved that I can’t wait to share with my son. But the library is definitely how we support our reading habits, and I’m thankful we have such a great system, and a branch so close by! (The same branch I visited when I was a kid, actually!)
Do you use your local library often? What do you like best about it?