Wednesday, July 21, 2010


When I first moved back to Civilization I wrote about my first visit to the public library and how much is "scared" me. I gotta tell you, over the last year and a half, I've certainly gotten over that fear... and I'm back to loving my library.

I probably visit the library about 3-4 a week. I checked out hundreds of books, and my fair share of movies, CDs, audio books and the like. I've gone to read magazine. I've used their wireless Internet, and I've used their computers to use their printers.

I'm also a huge fan of Inter Library Loan, or ILL. I love that my library lets each patron have up to 100 ILL books per year for free. For those of you who aren't familiar with such, ILL allows libraries to borrow books from each other, all around my state and neighboring states, so patrons all over can find books they really want, without always having to buy them. The library borrows on behalf of the patron and then the patron gets the book. All I do is find the book I want that my local library doesn't have and then I send an email request to the girl who's in charge of ILLs. Most other people fill out a book request form thingy but since I've made friends with almost the entire staff, I can use the email.

I hate that libraries aren't free to everyone, though. They should be. Here in the county where I live, if you live within the city limits, using the library is free. Those folken who live outside the city limits are subject to astronomical fees, upwards of $60 per year/ per family to use the library. All because their property taxes aren't doled out to the library. I think libraries should be available to everyone, regardless. But I'm a proponent of reading (oh that is such a duh statement) books and knowledge so of course I want everyone to want to use the library. And the idea behind the libraries! You get free stuff! How cool that the purpose and the goal of an entire establishment is merely to loan books (and other forms of media) for free!! With nothing but a promise that you'll bring it back, you can borrow a book for the cost of nothing. I love this! Carnegie rocks!

Of course, along with monies for education public arts, budgets for libraries are also being cut. Libraries are actually closing doors due to lack of funding. Andrew Carnegie is probably turning over in his grave at the very idea!

So, the lesson here today ladies and gentlemen, is to use your libraries! Please! Save our books! Save the only institution in the country where knowledge is free. Books are gifts you can open again and again, so please read!


Bragger said...

I used to be a book buyer. I wanted to POSSESS the book (maybe I'm possessed?). Hubby convinced me that it is rare to read a book more than once, and the library is free. There's just something so satisfying about walking out with a big stack of books and you didn't pay a penny for them. :)

Now that I have my (second) Kindle, though, I'm back to purchasing (some) books. At least they don't pile up on the bookshelves, though.....

Wiley said...

I agree, libraries kick arse. I like that I live so close to the National Library here. Such a treat.
And the concept is surreal, especially in these times. But I get a kick out of being able to wander in and put my paws all over someone else's stuff and no one even blinks an eye.

Maggie said...

Bragger- I think it's totally awesome that we can just walk out with a stack of free books all with just a promise of returning them.

And I'm thinking more and more about getting a Kindle, too.

I love to possess books and I love filling my shelves with my favorites. But there is something awesome about libraries.

Maggie said...

Wiley- I missed going to the Library of Congress when I was in DC and it's one of my regrets. But I will get there.

It's funny but when I go on trips I like to stop in town's libraries as part of my journey.

Shan said...

I LOVE the library and think so many people tend to forget it is available. The bigger library one town over has that new check out system where you lay the stack on a pad and it reads them all at once and it just blows my mind.
When I was a kid and they first got that little pen sized light scanner, I decided I wanted to be a librarian once and for all. I don't really think I'm intellectual seeming enough to pull it off now. ;)

Debbie's L'Bri said...

Our family frequents the library once or twice a week.