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?
I LOVE our library and am there pretty much every Saturday. They are great with holds, ebooks, audiobooks on cd and e-versions, movies (both DVD and online – we check there before redbox), and they have awesome events for all ages. Our friends went to one recently where the little kids can read to dogs that are brought in for that session. Too cute!
Ours has a session every week or so that allows “special needs” children to read to a dog – and I’m pretty sure it’s my neighbor’s huge Bernese mountain dog. They take her to a lot of volunteer events at the hospital and library.
I’m a huge fan of our local library. We’re traveling to Argentina and Uruguay next month, and guess who had the Lonely Planet book we needed?
The public library has to be one of civilization’s greatest accomplishments. Pooling resources to share access to knowledge…
We just went last night to their “Pajama Party”, where Daughter Person got to wear her PJs and listen to a few stories. We also stopped by the kid’s section to let her pick out a few books. She just runs around picking out books that look good, finding a seat in the reading area and looking at pictures…
I work at a school, and our library is hooked up with the local system. I haven’t had tons of time for reading this year (redoing curriculum for some classes takes tons of time!), but I often get books from the school library. So nice to be in my workplace. Like you, I spent my childhood at the library. I can’t wait to take my future kids there on a regular basis.
Honestly, I only visited our public library twice a month. Our government didn’t take good care of our public library and it’s very sad to notice about this. When I was young I always went to the library, reading my favorite books.
We just moved to a new town this past winter and we haven’t been to the library yet. It’s on our list! The kids loved the library in our old town, although they were a little bit obsessed with the fish tank in there =)