I grew up going to the public library in our town – I was (and still am) a voracious reader. I’m pretty sure my parents were thrilled when I could drive myself there (it wasn’t exactly close or convenient). I had read through all the interesting scifi/fantasy books available at the library, and just sort of stopped going – preferring to get books from B&N and then Amazon. I can count on one finger the number of times I went to the school library in college.
When I got my Kindle (the 2nd generation edition), I couldn’t go to the library to get Kindle books, so I didn’t bother. Just in the last year or so, as we’re trying to save money have I been going back to the library. Daughter Person made her first trip there late last year – she loves picking out new books to read before bed.
Our public library system has over 20 locations, with two pretty close to us. The closest one to us also houses the library operations center, and it’s one of the larger libraries in the system, so it has a good selection. I can also request a hold online, and if the book isn’t at my library, I can have it sent to my local library for no charge. They also support inter-library loan should I wish to take advantage of it. I also have access to the public libraries (and their online resources) in the greater DC Metro region – all of which are excellent library systems.
In addition to books, the library has DVDs, music CDs and books on tape/CD to lend patrons. I haven’t gotten to spend much time browsing the main library section lately as I’ve had Daughter Person with me, and adult books are just as interesting to her as the picture books in the children’s section.
Our library offers an amazing array of online resources. I can checkout Kindle books, Audible books, PDFs, ePub books (among others). It gives me access to research databases (EBSCO) as well, which I use on occasion.
I just learned this week that our library offers Mango Languages as well – for free!. If the language you want to learn isn’t available through Duolingo, I suggest seeing if your library subscribes to Mango Languages – there seem to be hundreds of languages available.
Now, instead of going straight to Amazon, I check the library’s web page first, and if the book is available, I’ll put it on hold. I get an e-mail telling me when the book is ready, and I go download it from Amazon. Unfortunately, it can be a long wait for popular books. If the library doesn’t have it on Kindle or I need to read it quickly, only then will I purchase it. I’ll even sometimes check out a printed book for myself.
Do you frequent your public library?