Monday, August 17, 2009

A Little Library Love....


I'm curious: Do you use your library? Are you a card-carrying member? If not, how come? I'm a huge fan of my library. The town I grew up in is a small farming town. The population of the town hovers around 500. And we didn't have a local, community library. There was a small library in the grade school, but it was only accessible during the school year. And I'm pretty sure I read through the entire collection by the time I was in 8th grade. We also had a library in my high school. But it was even smaller...I'd be willing to wager I now own more books myself than was in the library!!

The college years were spent reading mostly textbooks. With classes, work, and my social life, I rarely read for pleasure. I didn't realize how much I missed it though until I graduated and moved out on my own. One of the first things I did was get a library card. And although I used to buy a lot of books, I still kept my library card current. Now that I've put myself on a budget, I use my library more than ever.

The picture above is the exterior of my local library, Alpha Park. It's not the biggest library, by any means. It doesn't have the greatest selection of books. But there are a lot of reasons that I love my library!! First of all, each of the librarians know me by name. Probably because I request/put holds on so many books. It seems like there is always a book behind the desk with my name on it.

If a book is not in my library, I can usually get it through Inter Library Loan. There are about 60 libraries in this system and I can almost always find what I want. Now that all the libraries are connected through the same computer system, I can log in myself and renew or put holds on books. I love it!! Last week, I was trying to figure out how to get the next graphic novel in the Fables Series. I was talking to the reference librarian, and she found all but 2 books in the series in the system. The 2 books she couldn't find, she ordered to put in our library!! Book 3 is one of those books. I got a call last Friday that I had a book on hold. When I got to Alpha Park, it was the new copy of Fables, Vol.3. I'm the first person to check it out.

The Children's portion of the library is also fantastic. The entire top floor is for the kids. There are a couple of classrooms, where they hold meetings and have craft lessons. One corner of the library has three steps up to a carpeted platform. There are floor to ceiling windows up there, and big pillows for the kids to lounge on while they read. And the kids/YA selections are really good. I can always find something when I'm waiting for the girls to pick out some books.

I love my library!! And my kids love the library. The only thing that would make it perfect would be a cappuccino machine!!
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As for reading, I just finished up Monster by Walter Dean Myers. It was the first Printz Award winner and a really good book. I'm still reading Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall for the Non-Fiction 5 Challenge. I started to read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, and so far I'm finding it just a charming read!! I'm also getting ready to start Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

What are you reading these days??


19 comments:

Amy said...

NO, I do not use my library. Mainly due to the fact that I cant' get things back on time.

I did love the library as a kid, and often wish I could convert to library use!

Amanda said...

I love my library. It's not as big as that one, but it's part of a huge network of libraries in the San Antonio system, so I can just order books from anywhere on the system and I get them within a few days. And if a book doesn't exist in their system, they'll do InterLibrary Loan for me and order it from anywhere in the country, which is fantastic! Takes awhile to get, but it's free.

My library is down the street from me, and I've gotten very famliar with it. I run a book club there and am part of several others. I take my kids there several times a week. I volunteer there now. Everyone knows me. It's wonderful. :)

Nymeth said...

Sigh, I so wish I had access to a good public library. I use the university library, which is great for classics, so-called "literary" fiction, and non-fiction, but it doesn't carry anything beyond that. I was heartbroken about not being able to use it after graduating (a limited library beats no library, after all), but I found out recently that former students can request a card for a moderate fee, so hooray :D

I'm glad you're enjoying I Capture the Castle, btw!

Amanda said...

I'm so obsessed with the library... it drives my husband insane! I'm a librarian myself, but having just moved across the country am really enjoying just being a patron for now, putting things on hold and waiting my turn for books. I am in there probably 4 times a week just picking things up, taking advantage of their coupon exchange program, or browsing the shelves (like I need more books or something!).

Love the library!

Booklogged said...

I used to use my library all the time, but since my children are grown I end up buying a books more often than not. It doesn't help my obsession that my husband is thrilled when new books show up in the mail. Isn't that funny? Most book buyers have to sneak those delicious buys onto the shelf and hope he doesn't notice.

And, like Amy, when I do check things out I don't get them back on time.

Marg said...

You know I am right there with you loving my library! I visit at least once a week, usually more often and always have way too many items checked out and on hold!

Carl V. said...

I love posts about libraries! Yours is really funky looking. Fun and retro! Looks great!

Yes, I use my library quite frequently. I went for years without accessing it much at all and then determined a couple of years ago to be more active and now it is financially more beneficial, and a heck of a lot more fun, to be a regular library visitor. I have tons of DVDs and a smattering of books checked out at any one time. I'm queued up for several books that haven't been released yet and have been going at least once a week for awhile now. Not sure what I'd do without the library. And I have so many fond memories of visits to my hometown library as a kid. I think everyone should give their libraries lots of love whenever possible!

Lisa said...

I do use our library a lot. I usually just browse new releases then head up to the YA. It has a fairly good YA section and they are GREAT about ordering requested books. They kids picture book section is horrible to use as an adult, but the kids like it. like yours, the entire upstairs is the kid's floor with great furniture, some games, computers, etc. Unlike yours, ours has a coffee shop. Sadly, it is closed on Sunday which is when we usually go.

Trish said...

When I was in high school I used the library a lot. Until I checked out Joy Luck Club, forgot to return it, accumulated fines, was threatened to be turned into the collection agency, and my card was revoked. :) Other than college I haven't used the library since. BUT we have a shiny new library being built 5 minutes from my house (and on the way home from work), so I'm gonna have to get a card so I can check out audiobooks.

Michelle said...

Yes. Definately love my library. And use it a lot. Usually twice a week. In other libraries, I've usually accumulated huge fines, but not lately. If only my library were as big as yours, especially if it had a larger YA section..

Bookfool said...

Yes, of course I use my library! Unfortunately, I also own enough books that I could open a store. It's kind of ridiculous. I'm working on paring down.

Meg said...

I use my local library - mostly for the kids books. I have two toddlers who can't get enough when it comes to books! They have a GREAT selection of picture books and young adult fiction.

I find it really disappointing though as we are a small town and they don't have a good selection of the books I like to read. I guess I was terribly spoiled by living in the 'big' city with access to a fantastic University library!

Kimmie said...

I have 3 five shelf bookcases, 2 just for fiction. I had to quit buying so I'm at the library quite often. They also order books for me from all of the Houston area towns and colleges. And they have an honor room. You can but their excess books or donated books. A dollar or half a dollar. It's no wonder my bookshelves are full.

Janssen said...

I LOVE the library. I could not live without it!

juny said...

I bought my condo because it was within walking distance of the city's largest library...yeah, i use the library and it saddens me that others do not realise what a resource it is

Kim L said...

I really love the local library! I don't have money to spend on books all the time, if not for the library I would be a LOT more limited in my reading choices.

I'm in a relatively large suburb, so we have an awesome library. I can order books online, and although we have Inter-Library Loan, when I can't get books at my local library, I have my card set up at two other county libraries. Love the flexibility!

Teddy Rose said...

I love my library too. We have an awesome library system and I know how spoiled I am with it. I haven't used it in awhile dues to ARC's but I am sure I will again.

S. Krishna said...

I love my library, and used it a lot at the beginning of this year. I haven't used it much since my Oxford trip just because I'm behind on ARCs/reviewing!

Darla D said...

Oh, what a lovely library post! I'm so glad your library offers such great service. It has been demoralizing at the library where I work to see the effects of the massive budget cuts (15% this year so far with more to come). But still I think we offer great service, and I'm hoping the economy will bounce back soon so we can order lots more books! :-)