Yesterday was the annual Library Legislative Day at the State House here in Massachusetts. Every year hundreds of librarians descend to meet with their senators and representatives to talk to them about the importance of libraries in our communities. I am always proud to attend and it led me to this week’s topic 10 Reasons To Use the Public Library.
- It’s pre-paid. I hear lots of people say that the public library is free, and it sort of is, but it’s really a tax supported institution. Granted, the average homeowner in my community contributes far less than $100 in taxes per year but if you’re going to pay for it anyway you might as well use it.
- Books. The backbone of the public library is the availability of books. New books, classics, children’s books, paperbacks, knitting books, Civil War books . . . you name it, they’ve got it.
- Magazines. I save a lot of money on magazine subscriptions by getting them from the library instead.
- DVDs. We buy all the latest and most popular DVDs as a matter of course. You might have to wait a little bit to get them but eventually they will come your way.
- Audiobooks. Our library subscribes to Overdrive which allows people to download audio books for free. Like the DVDs, you might have to wait a bit for the really popular stuff, but it’s worth it.
- Online services. There are databases that allow you to look up (reliable) answers to questions, opportunities to study languages, and online classes you can take for free – all from the comfort of your home.
- Meeting rooms. They are available for free to non-profit groups like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, knitting and spinning clubs and more. It’s an excellent resource for those looking for a central place to meet.
- Book Club. Attending a monthly book club is a great way to meet new people, read excellent books, and have intelligent conversations about them. Plus, we serve cookies.
- Children’s Programs. We’ve got story time and craft events, candy bar bingo and special performers, all at no extra charge!
- The librarians. I may be tooting my own horn here, but the librarians are the best and most important reason to use the public library!
I hope I’ve convinced you to use your public library. We need good people who will not only use our services but tell our elected officials how much the public library matters.