Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where I discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week's topic:
Are you utilizing your library?
I usually do a library post once a year or so to let people know how important your local library is, and what a wonderful resource a library can be for everyone. Are you taking full advantage of all your library has to offer? If not, let me tell you a bit about why you should be visiting your library more often.
Your Tax Dollars: First as a taxpayer, you contribute to your local library. If you are already paying for books and supplies, why not take time and check out how your tax dollars are being spent? If you haven't been to the library in a long time, you should check in and see what your library has to offer you.
Largest Buyer of Books: You might think that bookstores are the biggest purchasers of books, but in reality, the library system is the largest book buyer. Stop and think about how many local libraries you have in your area alone, then consider school and college libraries. Most public libraries buy several copies of the bestsellers, and lots of times after they have been circulated a couple of dozen times, they are replaced. So if you are looking for a vast supply of book titles, look no further than your local library, and the best part, you can take them home for free!
Trying Something Different: Have you ever gone to the library and found a book that you would never have picked up on your own, but you chose it because it was recommended? I love that the library can help you find titles that are often similar to books you already love, or sometimes, a library can lead you to an unexpected read. With so many books to chose from, you can take a chance, especially since you aren't having to fork out money. If it isn't a good fit, no problem just return it.
Information: If you are looking for information and help but don't know where to turn, consider your library. Librarians are excellent at helping you find the resources and help you need, and if they don't know the information, I am sure they can point you to someone who can. Libraries also have computers and free internet access for those who need to use a computer. Trust me, accessing information has come a long way since the old card catalogue days. Remember those?
Programs and Activities: As a mother of two young children, the library is a life saver. I love that the library offers lots of programs and activities for kids of all ages, especially in the summer. Our library puts on a set of summer programs that my kids love. We have seen bird shows, reptile shows, music and puppet shows and even a dog show to name a few. There are programs for teens, like lock ins and movies, and plenty for adults such as book clubs, craft circles and more. There is always something going on at your local library so check it out.
Love of Reading: There is no better place than a library to help instill a love of reading in a young child. Libraries have story time, where young kids can listen to stories. Plus, there are so many wonderful books to choose from. You can check out a huge stack and bring them home to encourage your child to read. Our library always does a summer reading program that encourages kids to read all summer by offering terrific prizes such as coupons for cookies, mini golf, pizza and t shirts.
Additional Media: Now that most video stores have closed down, where do you go to get DVDs and CDs? How about your library? Libraries have a large collection of DVDs and CDs for you to check out. How cool is that? My library has a large selection of kids' movies as well as lots of educational material for everyone else to check out.
Cheap Books: Once books are pulled from circulation, many are put up for sale to patrons for extremely low prices, along with books that are donated to the library. At my library, you can purchase books for a dollar and magazines are free. You would surprised at what you can find to purchase at your library.
Holds: I love being able to go online and look up books that I am eager to read, and if they aren't available right then, I can opt to place a hold on the book, and once it is available, the library will place it on the hold shelf and email me. Our library system does an inter library loan program, so if the book isn't in my library, they can have it transferred from another library, and I can usually get it within a couple of days. I can also go online and place holds on hot titles that are not yet released, and have them held for me once they are in stock. It is a wonderful way to make sure I can always get the books I want to read.
Ebooks and Audiobooks Online: I have mentioned this numerous times in the past, but it bears repeating, for those of you who prefer ebooks or audiobooks, you can check them out online. Check either Library2Go or Overdrive to look up books, and then check availability for them in your area. Lots of times, you can check out ebooks or audiobooks online, and receive them without having to leave your home. How convenient is that? Not to mention it saves a whole lot of money. I am always checking out audiobooks to catch up on my favorite series.
Use It or Lose It: Unfortunately, if a library doesn't get lots of patrons and support, it can be closed down. How sad is that? Take time to visit your library and support it to make sure the doors stay open.
I can't tell you enough what a wonderful place and resource your local library is. I hope if you are someone who hasn't been to the library in awhile that you will take time to stop in and see all they have to offer. Once you explore all the benefits of your library, I think you will be kicking yourself for not checking it out sooner. For all of you who are struggling with your book budget, start checking out books from your library. So what are you waiting for? Look up your local library online right now, and schedule time for a trip today.
Are you using your library? What do you love about your library?
Next week's TMST:
What paranormal/ scary books are you most looking forward to reading this season?