Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I love the library

How can anyone argue that the public library system isn't one of the best benefits freely available to everyone?  Even in the dinky small town we used to live in where our county only had one fairly small library building and a book mobile I still could consistently find something there that was interesting to read.  I always love going into the library and knowing that I could have just about any book in there and read it without regard to my budget or having to worry if it was exactly the right book.  If it wasn't what I needed I could just return it and try another one.

I'm currently career shopping, looking for a potential career path out of business school.  I have a couple options in mind that I might be a good fit for and would be interested in pursuing but I'm trying to learn about the array of options that are typically available to students graduating from my school.  Internet has been sketchy off and on recently at our place so I decided to go for some good old fashioned books.

I went online to our library system's website.  Found about half a dozen books that seemed relevant and marked them to be transferred and held for me at our local branch.  Three days later I get an email to tell me half of them have already shown up.  I walk over to the library with my SO after work and pick the books up.  In and out in about two minutes! One of the three books was really useful but the other books were only so-so.  I'm satisfied since I can renew the useful one to reread sections of and return the other two.  In a few more days I'll have found more relevant books that I'll again check out for free.

Right now I'm using our library for career research, but here are some other areas where I've used library resources to save money or gain knowledge in the past:
  • Learning about investing
  • Standardized test prep
  • Cooking ideas
  • Free entertainment through fiction books or movie rentals
  • How-to references for various projects
  • Information on starting a small business
  • Tax advice for the self employed
  • Free internet access when ours was out
  • Hiking guides and trip research
My favorite part?  If I just need a resource about a particular topic or something entertaining to watch or read, I can often have a book that meets my needs in hand faster from the library than from Amazon.  Really, I can have it in as little as half an hour if I have the time and the library is open. 
    Do you patronize your local library?  What resources do you use?

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    1. I totally agree and absolutely love the library! My local branch is just up the street from my house, and it's great. Not only that, but it provides access to those that lack the resources to just buy from Amazon, and acts as a community hub. I actually spent my high school years working in a public library, so I'm a big fan.

    2. Agreed! I used test prep materials while studying for the GMAT, career books when figuring out what to do with my life, weight loss, exercise and diet books to live a healthier lifestyle, and of course the occasional beach read!

    3. I don't think I'm capable of returning books on time so I always end up with late fees... ridiculously huge late fees. Its frustrating and stressful. I know I'm the only one to blame but still I don't borrow books from the library anymore for that reason. Though, I do love browsing the library and picking up a few books to look through while I'm there. But rarely do I ever leave with anything anymore

    4. I've been a library patron/geek since I was a little kid. I've almost always lived within walking distance to my local library - and I never cared if it was a little junky library with minumum resources - there was/is always something good to read.

      How about library science for your next career move?

    5. I don't use the library as nearly as I would like to. I really need to go soon...

    6. We were brought up on the library and I love it. I use it soon as someone mentions a book on the internet I am looking at it in our library online catalogue and can even have it held for me. The whole family uses it and we even trade books we are reading. It makes u a more rounded person...when u know that it doesn't cost u anything to take out, u will read books from many other fields and subjects.
      LATE FEES: Put on yr agenda to check yr online acct for books due. Go every week or every 2 weeks as a regular mondays after gym swing by library. Set up a reminder notice on your blackberry or send yrself an email with the due date in the subject line.

    7. I love the library...just got a notice in my inbox that the book I reserved is there. I don't even have to look for it on the shelves, just swing in, self-scan it out and leave...5 mins tops!

    8. My wife goes "into town" a lot more than I do, and she uses the library enough for both of us.

    9. The local library is an awesome resource. It's a shame that local budgets under pressure mean taking funding away from libraries. Local politicians are so short-sighted at times.

    10. Agreed. I wish my library had a greater collection though, I always arrive a booksales with a huge list of books to purchase because I can't get them at my local library.

      Once in a while, I just spend a lot of time at Barnes and Noble to catch up on reading and standardized testing prep.

    11. I love the library too! I remember the first time I checked out a book. I lived in a teeny-tiny town at the time, and the book mobile came by. (It wasn't big enough for a library.) I was so amazed that I could pick out any book I wanted and they would just let me take it home to read.

      As far as what services I take advantage of now, there's interlibrary loan (which not that many people seem to know about), speakers and classes, a little art gallery, and books of course. They also let you "check out" tickets to local attractions.

    12. I love the library as well! In college I worked in our library as a federal work study student, and it was the best job ever. The only thing that stinks about libraries where I am is that they (amazingly) are not open on Saturdays!!! That is so inconvenient!

    13. I loved the library but really haven't been to one in a couple of years. I get free and cheap books to review or on Kindle.

    14. Last summer I tutored a former student of mine and we used the local library. It was a great, quiet place to meet. I love libraries.

    15. I'm totally guilty of ordering books for years on Amazon. It's just so easy to order everything you want in your pajamas and have it delivered to your front door. Recently, I re-discovered our local library. I haven't gone since I was a kid and I was blown away by how nice our local library is! I can even order books online and have it delivered to the local branch for $0.75. Can't beat that.