*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Library Card Sign-up Month! Why YOU Should Have a Library Card

 As today is the last day of Library Card Sign-up Month, I wanted to share some of the reasons I feel that it is so important to have a library card and to use your library. I'm aware of the very controversial opinion piece put out by Forbes, about why Amazon would replace libraries. Unlike many, I didn't get angry, I just laughed because I know it's going to take something even more amazing than Amazon (and I love Amazon) to replace all that libraries have to offer.
  •  Books, Books, Books!
So, obviously, my favorite thing about libraries are the books. I love reading and there isn't anything quite as magical as a space filled with books. I love that I can check out anything I want, whenever I want and it's free. If I really enjoy a book, then I can seek out buying a copy, but if I didn't enjoy the book, I am not out anything. I love browsing the shelves to find authors that I've never read. I love book displays. I just love books. And libraries have a little bit of everything- stories for me, stories for children, cookbooks, history, poetry, how-to...the list goes on forever!

  • Libby
 On top of physical books, I love ebooks. My library cards (yes, cards. I have three cards for three different libraries in my state) are connected to Libby app and I literally can check out books at any time of the day. There is nothing worse than finishing an amazing book and realizing the library is closed. With Libby, the library of books is never closed! And they are still free to check out! Plus, because they are on my phone (my chosen devise) I can read where ever I am- in line at the grocery store, while waiting at the drive through, on my lunch break- any time! Seriously, if you aren't using this service, you're crazy. 

  • Newspapers and Magazines
I know it's not as common for people to have subscriptions to newspapers anymore. I really appreciate that I can access my local (and surrounding area) newspapers at the library. Sure, it's not as convenient as  getting it delivered to my doorstop, but it is cheaper. I also like that if there is an issue of a magazine that I am interested in, I can go read the article, without having to pay for an entire magazine. 

  • Computers, Internet, and WiFi
 We live in an age, where the majority of people either have a computer at home or a smart device. But not everyone has access to these devices. Libraries are a great resource for those that can't afford a computer or internet. In addition, many libraries offer free WiFi as well (my library requires that you have a library card to offer these services. What a great deal!) On top of that, libraries often have the ability to print from the computer and make copies. It may not be free, but it's probably cheaper than your local office supply store.
  • Movies and CDs
I heavily utilize my library's media collection.  Yes, I have Netflix and Hulu, but not everything I want to watch is on these site. Additionally, sometimes I come across a DVD that I had no idea existed, but looks fascinating. It's so easy to check out a free movie! The same goes with streaming music. I don't have a fancy car that allows me to have an endless supply of music, so I still check out CDs quite often to listen to when I am driving. And on the note of driving...

  • Audio Books
Again, my car isn't fancy, so I check out a lot of books on CD to use in the car. It really makes drives go by so much quicker. I also utilize the audio book feature on the Libby App. I've started listening to audio books when I clean, and it makes the process far less painful. I get caught up in the story so I'm not focused on how boring cleaning can be. And, because I want to keep listening, I stay motivated longer- my house has never been cleaner! 
  • Free Online Databases
This is a service that I personally don't utilize as often as I should. My library offers a wide variety of databases. Some are great for research, some show how to repair cars or things around the house. Some can teach you a new language or information on genealogy. It blows my mind as to how much information is available to me, and all for free with my library card!
  • Free Programs- for all ages!
Because I have a toddler, we utilize the programs geared for his age. But there is so much more than that. My library offers programs for all age groups. Babies, toddlers, afterschool, teens, adults- everyone! There are storytimes, movies, book groups, authors, musicians...I can go on and on. They've even done programs for the  Pokemon Go crowd. And again, it is all free!
  • A Location
This one is probably a little weird, but bear with me.  Libraries are a great location. Sure, they may not be a great place for a loud and rambunctious activity, but if you need a place to hang out with friends, try your library. Most libraries offer various seating so if you want to get together and play board games or work on a project together, it's likely okay. Some libraries offer separate study places if you need a quiet area to work. Some libraries have coffee shops. I love writing at my library because it's peaceful, but not dead quiet. I also love that when I am stuck, I can people watch. Another thing that I love about my library, it that it has a very nice outdoor space. It's wonderful to sit under a tree and read or even hang out with friends. Also, I mentioned to Pokemon events above, my library has two stops and two gyms, so it's a great location for that too!  

  • It's Free!
Okay, I know that not all libraries are free. I am very lucky that my library is. But even if your library isn't completely free, I feel that it is a worthwhile investment. And unlike many locations, you can still use the location without paying anything (and not risk being kicked out because of it).  
Happy Reading!

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