I am a huge fan of the library and recommend that everyone have a card to their local library. During this pandemic, I definitely miss being able to go to my local library and pick up some new books. On the bright side, I have an undetermined amount of time with the books that I took out before they closed down because they have extended all borrows until they reopen.
So here are the Top Ten reasons that the Library is awesome!
- Libraries offer self-improvement courses, which can include financial education courses or free counselling. I have attended a publishing symposium offered by my local library that brought in a self-published author, a traditionally published author, as well as an illustrator for a publisher. It was incredibly interesting. Check your local library for a list of what they offer.
- Speaking of courses, they also have artistic groups, book clubs and other fun activities. For free. You might need to pre-register, but you likely will not have to pay.
- They employ people from your local community, which is honestly fantastic!
- Oh and the books!! So many books! All of the books! And they are free (as long as you return them). You do not need a fortune to check out the books available. Yes, you might have to wait, but there are worse things.
- Plus there are all sorts of other materials available. You can access movies, CDs, TV seasons, audiobooks, ebooks, etc. FOR FREE! Services like this are often offered for a price, but not at your public library. Some of these are even available through an app on your phone or laptop, so that even during a pandemic you can access new content for free. My library uses Hoopla and Overdrive, and I have both apps.
- Even if they don’t have something in stock, most libraries give you the opportunity to request that they purchase that item. Which is pretty sweet. Forget Amazon. Check your local library first.
- They offer free wifi and even have computers that patrons can use. FOR FREE! You often will need a library card, but that does not cost you anything either.
- Libraries fight against misinformation, even by simply maintaining the history of written word. They have access to hundreds of thousands of resources and they provide free access to those materials. They also provide access to the internet, allowing people to conduct their own research and make up their own mind.
- They often support minority groups in various ways. Most commonly, it is through showcasing the voices of people within those groups, such as highlighting books written by black folks for Black History Month, or queer tales during Pride Month. My public library even has a permanent display that showcases Indigenous authors and stories.
- And finally, libraries are one of the last remaining spaces you can go where you are not expected to spend money. Need a break from your family, but can’t afford to drive aimlessly or buy a coffee? Your local library will never tell someone they need to buy something to hang out at their facilities. This also means that it is an excellent refuge for people who are homeless or often deemed unworthy within our society. They don’t need money to have a space at the library, and that is sufficiently enough that it could be the entire list.
Bonus point for the library in my city: They extended the wifi limits, so that people can access the wifi without being directly in the building. This allows people to sit outside (socially distanced, of course) and access free wifi.
Why do you love your public library? How do you support them?