02 April 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Library Week

This week's BTT is all about libraries because National Library Week occurs in April. Thanks to Deb for hosting. For more information and to see other answers, click here.

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?

Using the Library

I know we've talked about libraries before. But I'm happy to play along. I go to the library at least once a month, but the true worth of my library to me is its digital resources. I highly recommend that you check out what you may be missing. For example my small library offers the following:

⇒ Audiobooks
⇒ e-Books
⇒ Foreign-language lessons
⇒ Photo archives
⇒ Maps
⇒ Encyclopedias

My library also offers a number of programs for patrons of all ages: everything from children's hour to tax advice. I don't often attend the evening lectures or other programs, but I like to participate in the challenges and contests.

Bookstore vs. Library

I'm not sure if the bookstore coffee shop has replaced the library. It offers something different: You can drink coffee and chat while looking for your next read. I use the two completely differently: Bookstores are for buying, libraries are for borrowing.

Childhood Memories

My elementary school contained a small branch of the county library. It was great to be able to walk there to find books or to stop in after school. I remember that the librarian wasn't happy when I wandered into the adult section. I think my mom had to have a talk with her and tell her I was allowed to check out anything I wanted.

I was very bad at returning books and I always had a fine. My parents would periodically ban me from checking out new books until I worked off my debt. I'm much better at that now and rarely have overdue books.

Traditional vs. Modern

I have traditional tastes and would take well-worn, nicely patinated wood over plastic and glass any day. But I don't miss the old card catalogs; I love looking up a book and knowing right away if it is (supposedly) in the stacks or checked out. One of the principal things I miss about the academic life is having a personal carrel in the main library on campus.

Ok, you've answered it before, but let me know: Do you use the library? Have you ever looked into the online resources or digital media that your library offers?

33 comments:

Julie P. 4/2/09, 8:13 AM  

I used to use the library a lot more before I started blogging. Now I still go at least once a week for my son. Occasionally we'll get a movie there too!

Yvonne 4/2/09, 8:17 AM  

I pretty much only use the library for audio books and DVDs.

Dot 4/2/09, 8:22 AM  

Thanks for visiting my blog! I had forgotten about the old card catalogues, I don't miss those either!

gautami tripathy 4/2/09, 8:24 AM  

I seldom visit a library nowadays. None is near my place.

Booking through libraries

CoversGirl 4/2/09, 8:29 AM  

Ah yes, books that are (supposedly) on shelf! An irritation up there with taking a book to the self-check machine and being told to take it to the desk because it's (supposedly) missing. (How do you lose a book when it's right there on the shelf?)

I love the old libraries, too; books are things made for comfortable surroundings with a few worn edges.

Janet 4/2/09, 8:38 AM  

I use the bookstore and library very differently too. These days I use the library as much as possible, for myself and my children.

Nicole 4/2/09, 8:53 AM  

So far I have been old-fashioned and pretty much go there for the books.

Nise' 4/2/09, 9:14 AM  

Oh yes, those old card catalogs, don't miss those one bit. I love renting movies for $1 at the library instead of $5 at other places.

Smilingsal 4/2/09, 9:44 AM  

I have used the online resources, and you reminded me that when hubby and I get ready for a road trip, one of our stops is our public library where we check out books "to read" on tape.

Mae 4/2/09, 9:44 AM  

I never had a problem with librarians when I was a kid. In fact, they encourage me to explore.

stacybuckeye 4/2/09, 10:06 AM  

When I worked for Barnes & Noble I never used the library. Then I worked at the library and never purchased books. Now I do both :) I used the library most for audiobooks and to check out books by authors I've never read.

Jess 4/2/09, 10:39 AM  

We have a lot of great classes at my library as well. I have taken 2 computer classes and a pilates class -- tons of fun!

http://barneysbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/booking-through-thursday-42.html

Jen - devourer of books 4/2/09, 10:45 AM  

In the past couple of months I have started using the library a LOT, and audiobooks are my first priority there, although I now get 'regular' books too. I could see getting e-books if I had an e-book reader, but I haven't gotten any yet (although I've seen them in the catalog).

Vasilly 4/2/09, 10:47 AM  

I love your response especially your childhood memory. I can't remember when I started going into the adult section as a child but I don't remember any one asking me questions about it.

Robin of My Two Blessings 4/2/09, 12:13 PM  

Nope, don't use the library anymore. Books are too grody, the homeless like to hang out there and the hours are not convenient.

I loved using the libraries when I was younger - high schoolish. Studied there all the time and checked out books at least twice a week. Miss that.

No btt for me this week.

Meghan 4/2/09, 12:36 PM  

I remember learning the card catalog when I was younger because they had it in my elementary school library. Electronic resources are much better. I'm good about fines too; we stopped going when I was little because of fines and I know I hate to lose any money over them.

Amy @ Passages to the Past 4/2/09, 1:30 PM  

You've got an award waiting for you at my place!

bermudaonion 4/2/09, 1:30 PM  

I used to get most of my books from the library, but I rarely use it now.

Bonny 4/2/09, 2:08 PM  

I still use my local libraries fairly regularly. I love looking through some of the older art books you can't buy any more! I've learned a lot from libraries over the years: school, university and still now. Books of course, are a passion for me. But I've also borrowed videos/DVDs, music, language references, travel guides and taken various courses there, too.
Don't forget books on tape (audio books) and books in brail for the visually impaired. The library has resources for handicapped people, too.

Robert Burdock 4/2/09, 2:33 PM  

Nice response Beth and while I too like the more modern 'luxury' of knowing whether a a book is in stock or not, I also enjoy the more traditional 'thrill of the (book) hunt'
Warmest
Rob

mattviews 4/2/09, 3:01 PM  

I was such a magnet to libraries when I was young. I still remembered that sensation of getting my library card---that felt so privileged and special!

I love reading my own books at the library these days! :) Otherwise I depend on the library for mostly reference materials.

Jenny Girl 4/2/09, 3:20 PM  

Ahh you are so through!
I had one overdue library book when I was kid. I thought I had lost it and never told my mom. Then when I needed a library card againn in high school, I had to use a fake name, because my real name was on some list. We are talking like 5 years later!

Sunny 4/2/09, 4:13 PM  

The library does have some other great resources but I rarely use them (kind of hard with a toddler in tow!).

I am glad to be rid of the card catalog too! Whew!

Sounds like your parents did well in teaching you about late fines! Better to learn those things young, huh?!

Margot 4/2/09, 4:43 PM  

I'd forgotten the old card catalog system. I guess it's one of those things I don't miss very much. It's so much easier to use the online services. Only one thing I enjoyed was the card has the names of people who had read the book before me. Often in our semi-small town I would know some of those people. Oh, that was nostalgic just thinking about that time.

Ladytink_534 4/2/09, 5:31 PM  

Once a month?! I go once or twice a week! Yeah, I'm most certainly addicted! Don't know how I ever got along without the online catelog though :)

Ted 4/2/09, 6:15 PM  

You would probably enjoy they hybrid model of one of the big Amsterdam (Holland) libraries, which has a cafe in it!

Melody 4/2/09, 7:53 PM  

I don't visit the library nowadays (I used to visit once every week); it's taking too much of my time travelling to and from, and given that I'd rather read at my own pace, I'd rather buy than borrow.

Jenners 4/2/09, 9:55 PM  

I love using the library for my 4-year-old ... we get so many books I can barely carry them. It is so fun to watch him browse the shelves and just pull things down that appeal to him. And now that he is a little older, he is "getting" the stories now and the jokes and the books. It is a joy to see!

Penny (aka Yooperchick) 4/2/09, 10:00 PM  

Yours offers foreign languages? I'm SO jealous, because mine does not. I have, however, been hailed by my hubby as a hero after using my library's edition of Chilton's online to help him fix the car(s). Ours also has TumbleBooks, or books read out loud for children, that my kids really love.

Red lady-Bonnie 4/2/09, 10:49 PM  

I use the library quite a bit and it's a great money saver for getting movies on DVD instead of renting them.

I racked up the fines at the library when I was a kid also. I hid the letters about the fines from my parents. Your post reminded me of that, I should have added that tidbit to my BTT post!

Beth F 4/3/09, 7:28 AM  

Some of you mentioned uses of the library that I forgot about when I wrote my post: It is a good place to get DVDs and travel guides. It's great for those expensive art and photography books. Oh and I use it to test out cookbooks before I buy.

And some of you recalled how grownup you felt at owing a library card. I remember that feeling. It was a solemn moment when I handed over my card to the check-out lady.

And I forgot to mention the sales that my library has -- a good resource for inexpensive books.

I'm so glad I wasn't the only kid who accumulated fines! It was so embarrassing that I'm really careful now! At least I haven't had to take on an assumed name at the library . . . yet!!!

I love the sound of that Amsterdam library. I love the Netherlands, so next time I'm over there, I'll check out the library.

Marie 4/3/09, 12:31 PM  

I actually don't look into the electronic resources of the library very much. One thing I need to more of- I know they have lots of great stuff.

S. Krishna 4/4/09, 11:29 AM  

I do use the library, I usually go every weekend!

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