BTT ~ The Library Is the Heart of a Community

btt2

Suggested by Barbara:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

The trouble I have with borrowing books from the library is that I am horrible at reading them in a timely fashion and I can never decide on one book or two, so I just get all twenty; the result of these failings is that I end up with a lot of fines, my highest fine balance  being over a hundred dollars.  Instead of borrowing books from the library, I get books from BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, as well as buying them from the thrift stores and an occasional brand-new book from Wal-Mart (I used to be a permanent fixture at Waldenbooks, but Border’s shut our store down… I’m still grieving over that loss).

If I never brought home  another book, there are enough books in Mt. TBR’s inventory, and even more in the rest of my home library, to keep me busy for three or four years, maybe more.  What’s more, I also receive ARCs and books from publishers to review, so I doubt I’ll ever run out of books, barring a disaster like a fire or a book thief 😀

No, my main use of our local library is as a place to take my kids.  Our library has family movie events once a month, the last one we went to was “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” and shows for local artists and musicians.  They also have a monthly book sale, though the prices have gone up and up so I’ve gone less and less.  Our library also has a nice computer farm that occupy my kids, during which time I sit in a quiet corner away from everyone and read.

As we live about seven or so blocks from the library we walk there, which gives us time to enjoy the flowers and the world around us, as well as chat about whatever little thing crosses our minds.  A little over six years ago, we lived right behind the library and the kids went everyday, but now we go about once a week, sometimes more, and usually on Saturdays.  The library is a large part of our life, both as a source of entertainment as well as a backdrop for memories.

A few years ago, our library underwent a major renovation that brought the building into the 21st century.  With the installation of a gas fireplace and an open curving staircase with a glass ceiling and window walls, it went from a dreary cement box to one of the most beautiful libraries in our state and winning awards.  After the old one retired, the new director has enlarged the DVD, audio book, and music CD inventory a thousand percent, and has returned the library to public.

Some of my happiest childhood memories take place in a library, and I’m glad that I’m giving the same gift to my children. 🙂

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9 Responses

  1. I know what you mean about getting the books read on time! And I feel the same way about instilling library-love in my children.

  2. Thanks for the reminder about taking the kids… I’d forgotten to add that to my post until I read your answer! 😛 I take mine to the library a lot in the summertime. It’s nice as something to do, and gets us out enjoying the scenery of the neighborhoods (library is a couple of blocks away), and the kids are learning to enjoy reading. 😀

  3. It is fantastic that the library is fun weekly outing for you and your family.

    http://barneysbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/booking-through-thursday-42.html

  4. I use BM and PBS for almost all my books too. Love those sites!

  5. I used to use the library all the time, but don’t much anymore. Now that I’ve gotten to correspond with and meet some authors, I really want to support them when I can.

  6. Those rennovations sound wonderful!! I’m envious of that library.

  7. Your library sounds lovely! I’m sure your kids will appreciate the pleasant memories that you’re giving them when they grow up.

  8. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  9. Luckily the fine here is 15-20 cents, so if 5 books are late it’s only 1 dollar. And i did get my first fine in years recently, I totally forgot to re-borrow online

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