While I don’t traditionally participate in Top Ten Tuesday, September is Library Card Sign-up Month according the American Library Association. Since I seriously could not live without my local library, I decided to try my own Top Ten list:
10. It’s FREE.
Who doesn’t like something for nothing? I guess technically I pay taxes to support my library, but that doesn’t really count does it? I read around 100 books per year. Add to that the books my husband and kids read and you’ll have some idea of how quickly we’d go broke without the library.
9. Readers Advisory
If you’ve never visited the RA Department at your library, don’t walk…RUN! These are likely the smartest, most patient, most helpful, best-read people in the building. They like to talk about books and authors and genres and pretty much everything else literary.
Most libraries are social centers that stretch far beyond lending books. Books clubs, trivia nights, lectures, movies, job training, parties, knitting clubs…the list goes on. Libraries are and should be a point of civic pride.
7. Inter-library loan
My reading interests are varied and far-reaching. I could never expect my city library to have every title I want to read, but even if they don’t own it, they’ll find it for me. I love showing up to the circulation desk to find a stack of titles I’ve been waiting to read.
The opposite of #7, but just as satisfying, I can get lost in the stacks just pulling titles off the shelf. Or, I can visit Browser’s Corner for staff picks, or the great themed displays to maybe try something outside my comfort zone. (Did I mention it’s all free?!?)
5. Age-appropriate resources
The library (not the internet) is always our first stop for assigned research papers. Yes, I know I can wiki or google any subject, but it’s not all appropriate to a 4th grader. Children’s departments have an awesome selection of age-appropriate encyclopedias and reference materials.
4. It’s online
While I don’t buy into that hooey that paper books are facing extinction, my library values e-books as well as printed copies. I could, in fact, do all of my library business from ordering to check-out to returns without leaving my house if I read electronically. As it is, I could request and renew my titles without stepping into the building (but then I would miss out on #9).
3. Holds without hassles
Try not to be jealous because I think this program is unique to my library. I can provide my RA Department (again #9) with a list of authors whose work I like. Any new releases by that author will AUTOMATICALLY be held for me. This is so miraculous and it’s unlimited. I don’t have to keep track of when the latest book is coming out or be the 50th person on the waiting list. I have the latest releases within weeks of publication. Amazing.
2. Book Club
For 13 years, the only date set in stone on our family calendar is the monthly book club hosted by my library. The library provides all the books, makes the coffee, feeds us and runs the discussion (so that we actually talk about the book). Not only have I read titles I would have never chosen otherwise, I’ve come to know and become friends with people I wouldn’t have met without my library.
1. By definition, a library is filled with books!!!!
Need I say more?