Why I Love my Library!

29 Jul

This is my local library. Not much to look at but it's still home to me!

I want to thank Katy from my BC Book Club for posting the article which inspired this post.   Linda Holmes, blogger on NPR, talks about how libraries could “become the thing everyone wants to do happy-fuzzy pop-culture stories about.”  That would be great!      

Saying I love my library is a complete understatement.  The Cuyahoga County Public Library is as critical a resource for my family as the grocery store is.  In fact, I am at the library more often than I grocery shop (Please note:  this does not mean my family goes hungry!).   We go about twice a week as a family and I usually go at least once a week on my own.  This might not seem like much to some people, but I do have to fit these visits in on the weekends and in the evenings!       

For the most part the value of this resource is (obviously) about having virtually limitless access to free books since I love reading so much, but there are other things that the library provides that I consider invaluable as well.            

In addition to the books, here are some other reasons why I love my library:            

  1. Legitimate Online Presence  My library has an online system for reserving, renewing, and searching their full catalog.  I know if the library were a for-profit business this would be expected, but I consider this a nice-to-have in light of the funding struggles my library and most have faced over the past few years.   And they don’t just have a ‘system’, they have a ‘SYSTEM’!  It’s very robust, easy to navigate, and even has mobile apps for reserving and requesting items! 
  2. Kick-A** Reservation Process You can reserve items that haven’t hit store shelves yet, which is great because if you get the process down, you will actually end up getting the item very soon after it comes out to the general public to buy.  I use ‘item’ here because it’s not just books I’m talking about.  Want to see something just released on DVD?   Reserve it at the library when it’s in the theater (or soon after) and you’ll get it about the same time it comes out on DVD.  Additionally, anything you reserve that is available gets to the library of your choice in 2 days.  2 DAYS!  Again, I would expect this from a business but not a non-profit community resource necessarily.  And if it’s not in, you get put in a queue that is tracking how many hold there are for the item which is continually updated in your online record.  Amazing. 
  3. They Don’t just Hire Anybody  Okay, this might sound a little snobby, but if I’m looking for someone to be a guiding light on my reading selections, it can’t be some punky teenager who doesn’t even really like books but was forced to get a job to pay for his or her car insurance.  Librarians are still legit (too legit to quit, in fact) and are still expected to KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT BOOKS!  Again, I see that the quality of librarians might have been affected by some cost-cutting measures, and I’m so grateful that this is not the case! 
  4. Toy Borrowing Did you know you can borrow toys from the library?  Okay, okay, I haven’t used this myself yet, but I keep meaning to!   In fact, as soon as I finish this post I will do just that (which I can do because of course requesting toys can be done online as well!).  Babysitting but have no kids of your own?  Get some from the library!   
  5. High Tolerance for Children  I suppose they know my kids are future taxpayers so the librarians need to ensure my kids continue to love the library, but I am positive that sometimes that can’t even matter.  They allow my kids to ‘whisper’ which is not whispering at all, they let us stay there as long as we want and they don’t kick us out when it’s obvious that someone ‘needs a nap’ (No, not ME! Okay sometimes it’s me). 

          

And that is why the library is invaluable to me.   Everyone kiss a librarian today!  Okay, only if you know them personally and that’s appropriate please!  Um…maybe just a thank you would do.   Thank you Cuyahoga County Library for being so amazing!

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4 Responses to “Why I Love my Library!”

  1. Bookjourney August 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Great post!!!! We have #1 as well and I use it all the time… especially when I am blog hopping – click and I have reserved that book someone was ravig about – click and I have that audio….

    #2 I had no idea about nor did I ever think of it so thanks for that! 😀 I have to see if I can do that – how COOL. 😀

  2. Katie August 2, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    In the past year I have re-discovered my library, and am hooked once again!

  3. Katy B August 2, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    This is a great entry. I really enjoyed it. You should forward the link to someone at CCL, as I’m sure they would appreciate your praise and maybe provide a link here from their page. Customers are always so apt to complain but much less likely to compliment a business and its employees on services and a job well done.

    We also love our library but don’t go as much as we used to due to my recent purchase of an e-reader. Unfortunately, it has no electronic “borrowing” capabilities. I do agree, however, with all the advantages you listed. Who knew you can borrow toys? We’ve never tried that, although my son’s favorite activities are the puzzles. The branch we frequent has a railroad theme, which he loves, and the librarians there also let the kids romp around practically with abandon in the train area.

    I think the biggest reason librarians deserve props is for the assault to their olfactory systems in the summertime. Consider the “public” aspect of the library system, especially for the open access to their computers. Can you imagine working there in hot weather? Ewww….lol.

    Kudos to ours, too: http://thelibrary.org/

  4. Staci Z July 31, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Great post. I hadn’t been to the library in years and when I came back I was so impressed to find how great they truly are. I also love their online reservation and hold system.

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