#9 The Library

I am several days behind. I wrote a post in my head for Sunday, but didn’t have a chance to type it out. And by “didn’t have a chance” I mean I didn’t want to sit down at my computer – instead I spent the day relaxing. I stopped at the library on Saturday. It got me thinking about the role libraries and books have played in my life.

Not too long ago there was an op/ed in the paper from a woman claiming the library saved her life (not literally). She had been  a book purchaser all her life – going to book stores and buying what looked interesting and reading it later. When she lost her job and remained unemployed in the recession she realized she no longer had the disposable income to spend on books. That is when she started going to the library.

I read this and thought, “I would have been going to the library that whole time.”

I love the library and the role it has played in my life. I think I assume everybody knows how great public libraries are. Access to hundreds of thousands of books and databases all free to the public? What could be more fantastic?

Libraries open up so many worlds to us – from the classics to spy novels to how-to books, and you never have to consider what your income is when you go to most public libraries. There is no obligation with a library book other than to treat it respectfully. I am a cautious book buyer – when I buy a book it is either at a fantastic price, as a gift for someone else, or it is a book I already love. When I go to the library I am adventurous and willing to pick up and try just about any book. Books I would never purchase come into my hands at the library. I’ve discovered any number of wonderful stories because of the library.

I wish everyone would appreciate and make use of their public libraries. They are a fantastic resource that I hope never disappears.

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