Hey guys! So recently I’ve been feeling a lot of love for my local library system and I thought I’d do a general shout-out to all the libraries out there because libraries are awesome and they deserve it.
I just want to give you an example of some of the cool things libraries (mostly mine) do.
- Ebooks – any time I want, I can find ebooks on their website. It’s a super sweet deal because I can get library books that I want without getting out of my pj’s.
- Music downloads – we have a program that allows library users to download up to 5 songs for free a week. I’ve been told before this isn’t “cool” anymore, but I love it.
- Foreign Language programs – I’ve spent a few years now wanting to learn French because my ancestry is part French and after a few failed attempts with YouTube videos, I found this online program my library subscribes to called Mango. It’s amazing and I’m finally starting to get the hang of French! (Definitely not fluent after 3 weeks, but I’m managing.)
- Genealogy – my library system has an extensive genealogy collection from all over the country, not just my county or state. It’s impressive. I spend hours and hours there figuring out my family history and just learning. (My latest find was a collection of yearbooks from all our local high schools dating back over 50 years. I struck gold with family pictures! And by “gold”, I mean “blackmail.”)
- Special Programs – like many libraries, my library does a summer reading program to encourage kids (and adults) to keep reading even though school’s out. I did it every year as a kid. But on top of that, they have these other programs they throw in to get people interested in the library. They do concerts, tours of the archives, kids and teens projects, movie nights, author meet and greets, etc. The list goes on. It’s a great way to get to know a lot of new people and learn more about your community. I recently took that archives tour and saw so much cool stuff there, including cuneiform from 1000-2000 BC. History nerd alert.
- Book Sales – my library discovered in the last couple of years that people were willing to pay for the library’s rejected books, the ones that they bought too many copies of or were out of date, etc. So they sell them for a quarter each. And each summer, they hold something like a garage sale where you can go and browse thousands of books they’re selling. It’s a great way for me to pick up a number of books for my classroom in good condition for super cheap.
I know every library is different. Every library system is different. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where my entire county is in the same library system and therefore shares everything (CDs, movies, books) between like a dozen different libraries. Not everyone has that. But libraries appreciate your patronage and that truly does help them get more books and more funding. So please, show your libraries a little love this summer and go visit them. Go to a program they put on. Meet some new people. It’ll be fun!