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?
I use my library probably every day. When I read a great review on a blog, I go to my library account and either put the book on hold or my list. The library’s system allows patrons to put books on a list to be ordered later. That way patrons don’t clog up their holds lists.
I visit my library branches probably once or twice a week. I go by myself on my way to school and on other days I take all the kids. Our visits are usually short but we leave with bags filled with books.
My family and I also use the library’s programs like the ABC Soup that celebrates whatever holiday coming up and kids do fun art projects. Everyone’s favorite program is the summer reading program. The program is for all ages. After reading a certain amount of books, you receive free books of your choice from the library.
When my family no longer wants our books that are in good condition, we donate them to our library. They either keep the books or sell them in their library sales. They help us and we help them.
I didn’t start going to the library until I was a tween. I loved the library and I went there almost every day after school. My mom knew if it was dark outside to wait until fifteen minutes after the library closed and she would always spot me coming up the sidewalk, dragging my backpack.
The Look and Feel of a Library
I don’t care if a library is sleek and modern or old, quiet, and cozy. What matters to me is the selection and the ease of access. I want the library I go to to have an easy-to-use OPAC (online public access catalog). It shouldn’t take me more than a few clicks of my mouse to find the materials I’m looking for online.
I also want approachable librarians and paraprofessions that I feel comfortable going to with questions. The libraries I go to are perfect in those aspects so it’s one of the reasons why I keep going back.
Library vs. Coffeehouse/Bookstore
Libraries win every time. For me coffeehouses and bookstores can never compare to everything libraries do for their surrounding communities. Libraries are the backbone of a democratic society. Anyone who wants an education no matter their citizenship status can receive one by visiting their local library. Bookstores are great for buying and coffeehouses are great for offering beverages but both are businesses concerned only with the bottom line.