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Ten On Tuesday

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Magazines. I save a lot of money on magazine subscriptions by getting them from the library instead.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Children’s Programs. We’ve got story time and craft events, candy bar bingo and special performers, all at no extra charge!
  10. 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.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Great list – As a teacher I use the library frequently to save on buying books for my class. We have a field trip to the library each year – I am always amazed at how few of the children have ever been to a library.

  2. I use my public library all of the time! I realize that services and programs available vary from locality to locality, every library has something to offer. I tell friends all of the time to try using their libraries instead of purchasing books, cds, etc.

  3. Great list (and a lot like mine)! I did say on my list that the books are free, which I realize they really aren’t. But it feels like they are. 🙂 I’m trying to decide if it’s similar to socialism or communism. Everyone pays in something and gets to use it free of charge.

  4. We use the library, on-line and house, every week. I love the downloadable books, Smith loves their garden sections, etc. Our guild meets at the library every month, too. I love libraries!!

  5. I didn’t have time to do my list this week. I love the library. What a fabulous idea. Our librarians also help with genealogy. Gotta love the library.

  6. Are all knitters big library users? I take out knitting and cooking books to give them a trial run. If I really like them (and I often do), I’ll buy them. I even got to borrow Tudor Roses through an interlibrary loan.

    Let’s not forget what a wonderful place a library is for children, the autonomy and new worlds it gives them. I read a book a day as a child, and they were all from the library. I’ll never forget discovering The Hobbit all on my own, right before it went viral.

    It also provides a sense of community. There are some old people who basically live at our local branch.

  7. Being in Library-land I of course love your list-
    Our tax rate is much higher so we have people come in and say I pay a $1000 for this…. more like 200-700 but our patrons seem to know they pre-pay!
    Also a little nudge still would love to know that blue color name from webs! 🙂 xo

  8. If it hadn’t been for the best librarian in my area when I was in grade school, I would never had enjoyed reading or prowling the library. Librarians are the best!

  9. Librarians!! Sunday my daughter went to the main branch of our library system where she received some helpful info on databases from a friendly reference librarian.

  10. We’re a family on a budget (like everyone). I can’t afford to buy all these new books that my children may or may not read. Or they may read once. I also get audiobooks for my commute. I have probably listened to more books than I have read.

  11. *LOVE* the library! Our lists would be identical, but I might have added something about a quiet, peaceful place to sit and read. I love getting DVD’s from the library, and I am always browsing online to see what knitting books are available 🙂 Well worth my tax dollars!

  12. Librarians rule! And the patience, kindness and diversion that the librarians at the Plymouth Public have been given us helped the winter go by when I couldn’t find activities.

  13. We love the library! Currently, we have a city councilman who is up for re-election who proposed cutting funding to our libraries in order to balance the budget. Boo!!!!! I will not be voting for him!

  14. You’re right — libraries are the best, and today more than ever they are community centers for all ages. Had library school not been required, I would have become a librarian myself; instead I edit mss. and have been active in the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. My branch even has a knitting group every other week! I just hope it’s possible for Boston to keep the main library open on Sundays. All libraries should be open daily, even in the summer! Not that I feel strongly …

  15. We’re big fans of the library in my house. Boise has many small libraries throughout the city, so I hit them all regularly. I love that if I need books for my classroom, the library arranges for them to be at the branch nearest my school, but they’ll send books I want for home use to the book-mobile a short walk from my home. I also love that I can check books out from other states. There is nothing out of reach for our library system. And librarians? Some of my favorite people!

  16. When I move to a new place (which has been often), one of the first things I look for is the library. And I usually get my library card before I even register to vote. I loooooooove libraries!

  17. I love, love, love public libraries, and I adore librarians!! I ought to have had meeting rooms on my list, too. My library was kind enough to let me hold my first creative writing workshop there, holding me over until I found a more permanent space.

  18. We are crazy about our Library! With Ellie, we now have about thirty books out at a time (spread over two cards).

    Current children’s room strategy:
    We are going shelf by shelf through the stacks taking everything that is remotely age appropriate. This week it’s mostly Ps and last week was a whole mess of Fancy Nancy.

  19. Just resurfacing after some time away and a giant computer snafu. I LOVE the library. I live in a tiny house and wouldl be overrun with books if I bought all the books that I read. Or I would be spending money and then giving them away. I also have found that there were books that I wasn’t enjoying for whatever reason, and would never stop reading them because I had paid good money for them. When I get them from the library, I can stop reading and then spend my time on something that I enjoy. Our library is so convenient and I can put things on hold from online and pick them up when it’s my turn, without a lot of trips…and I always find something extra to borrow when I go in.

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