Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed. The subject this week is to talk about what we love about our library. I’ve changed the topic a little because I love all libraries. They’re some of my favorite places in the world!
My childhood library
Libraries have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother taking me to the library. When I was a child our town didn’t have any bookstores so the library was where I found books to read. By the time I was 11 or 12 I was reading the books in the adult section of the library. I remember lots of Saturday mornings spent in the adult section slowly browsing the shelves finding authors like Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and Robert Heinlein.
My life-long love of libraries
As an adult I’ve moved a lot, but one of the first things I always do in a new place is get a library card. However, even before I get a library card I visit the local library and see what information it has to offer about the local area so I know more about my new town and what activities are going on.
When my kids were little I would take them to the library and we’d find books for them to check out. Then I would sit them down with their books in the aisle I was looking in and spend five minutes looking for a couple of books for myself!
My current library has a beautiful main library downtown and a number of branches. I go to my branch library about once a week. Since the internet came along I don’t browse the library shelves as much as I used to. I use the computer catalog at the library website at home and search for books I’m interested in reading. If the library doesn’t have a digital copy (ebook or audiobook) I sometimes get a physical copy though my preference these days is for an ebook or an audiobook. I can reserve both physical books or digital books using the library website. If the digital copy isn’t already checked out I can immediately download it. (I love that feature!) And I don’t have to worry about overdue fines with digital books since they disappear when they’re due. (I love that feature, too!)
Finding information on the internet is great, but if I’m researching a subject like gardening or genealogy I like to find a book or two about it. That’s where the library is really great. I can do my catalog search at home and can reserve the book if it’s checked out or my library branch doesn’t have it. If my branch has the book I can find it on the shelf and check it out.
My library also has research databases on its website. There’s an online Consumer Reports database that’s free for library patrons to search. There’s the library edition of MyHeritage where I can do family history research without having to join MyHeritage and pay a fee. They have lots of other research databases, too.
And if none of the branches have a particular book I’m interested in I can ask my library to use interlibrary loan to try to get the book from another library. That’s really great if I’m researching something and my library doesn’t have the specific book I need.
Mostly though I just like to know I have a library to go to. I can find a book to read, look at the magazines and maybe check one out and I can look at the new books to see if there’s something that looks interesting. I especially love that the library has ebooks and audiobooks. They don’t have everything I search for, but they do have enough that I can usually find something that’s on my list of books to read.
What about you? Do you go to your library and check out books? What do you like about your library?