This is how I feel right now:
You may have seen my post on my choice of e-Book reader (the Barnes and Noble nook). After my husband read my post, he thought that the nook would make a great birthday present for me and since I’m doing all of my airplane traveling this year before my birthday, I should just order it now. Yay! I went to my library’s website to check out some e-Books so I could start reading immediately once I got my new nook. My process is always to borrow first, then buy the book if it’s worthy of being added to my long-term library. I planned to use my nook for my ‘first reads’ and borrow them from my library. When I went to my library’s site, however, I was astonished to find that none (okay, 1) of the books I’m reading or about to start have an e-Book format I can borrow:
- The Passage- EPUB available
- The Handmaid’s Tale – No Library
- The Shallows – No library
- The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox- No library
- Packing for Mars – No library
So I looked up the last 5 books I’ve read and the statistics were even worse:
- Last Night at Chateau Marmont – No library
- The Great Stink – No library
- Catching Fire – No library
- Never Let Me Go – No library
- Heart of the Matter – No library
I want an e-Book Reader so badly, but I cannot justify purchasing it if I cannot use my library as I do today. I read at least a book a week. At $10.00 a pop, that would be at least $520.00/year on books with none of it used to expanding my physical library at all – every book I have would be digital!
And also, I am wondering why the library is so limited its collection. Will this change? I certainly hope so.
Stinky! Stinky! <Stomping Feet>
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!