My family loved our local library when my sister and I were kids. We always participated in summer reading club, devouring books to mark off hours and get our Polaroid photos on the wall of fame. It ignited, from early on, a love for reading.
But in college, I basically just used the library for research. Librarians are full of knowledge — and a great place to learn — but I forgot they can be fun, too. So today, five reasons why we love our libraries.
1. The books.
Anyone who is mildly interested in reading has to love the options at the library — shelf after shelf of fiction, nonfiction, comedies, thrillers, cookbooks, nature reads provide something for everyone. Need a recommendation? Ask a librarian. Wondering what’s new? Sign up for the weekly Wowbrary email, which lists new items in all 13 York County Libraries locations. Want to borrow a popular item? Request it, and they’ll email you when it’s ready. Want to borrow an item at a library across the county? They’ll deliver to whichever York County library location you choose. Libraries basically make it impossible to say “I can’t find anything I’d like to read.”
2. But it’s not just books.
Print books are great. E-books and audiobooks are loved as well, by some readers. But York County libraries also offer access to newspapers, films, nonfiction DVDs, magazines and periodicals, not to mention Internet access and a slew of electronic resources that cover the gamut from health to financial literacy. They also offer space for children’s story times, teen hangouts and community programs like the One Book, One Community read.
3. They also support the community.
This month, when the Daily Record/Sunday News staff wanted to meet with José Colón, board president of Centro Hispano José Hernandez in York, to talk about forging connections in and expanding our coverage of the Hispanic community, they met at Martin Library. Book discussions, Girl Scout troops, nonprofits and other community groups use the library as a meeting space as well.
4. And, when you need it, provide a quiet space to work.
Over a weeklong Thanksgiving break in college, I holed up in my hometown library to work on a senior thesis and web design project. Four or five hours, two or three days in a row, the quiet of the library (and the wireless Internet access) allowed me to get my work done. Local libraries provide space for students, but also folks who might work from home or those who are seeking a new job and need to update their resumes, write a cover letter, or research an opportunity.
5. Did I mention it’s free?
Applying for a library card is absolutely free, and it provide access to everything the library offers, in the building and online. For parents of kids whose reading interests (and comprehension levels) change by the month, or for adults who just aren’t sure about that new Dan Brown novel, libraries provide an alternative to dropping $25 on a new read. When I miss a due date on a library loan, I can’t even get mad — paying 50 cents to read a specific book is a lot less than buying it outright.
What do you love about your library?
Each Friday, we’ll list five things on our mind. Five reasons we love our libraries or indie bookstores, five authors we can’t get enough of, five ways we get reading recommendations… and so forth. Check back each week for a new list to welcome the weekend!