Friday, June 28, 2013

Library Love Affair

Growing up, I didn't go to the public library very often. This is because we were more of an own-the-books-you-read kind of family, not so much a take-a-trip-down-to-the-pathetic-little-small-town-library-to-browse-through-their-sad-selection-then-read-the-germy-books-handled-by-hundreds-of-other-people kind of family. This arrangement worked out just fine for me, considering the thousands of books my family owned. Also, I always received a stack of books so high for my birthday I could barely get through them before getting another stack for Christmas. I was never without a book to read.

However, after growing up, moving on to bigger towns with better library systems, and living in a state of student near-poverty, I've gained a new appreciation for public libraries. Appreciation might be the wrong word. More like passionate love affair.

Our local library branch we left behind in Chicago. Isn't is so classically adorable? I will miss this little library, and our weekly walks there.

It's not just the books, although I must say, free books (any book and every book, if you wait long enough on the hold list) is a huge part of why I love libraries, obviously. These days, though, there's all those other fancy services they offer, like downloadable music, movies, audio books and e-books. Our last library offered free museum passes available for checkout (super awesome in Chicago). Of course there were old standbys like story time and toddler activities, free lectures and book signings by authors, and classes and seminars. And by and large, all this stuff is free. I mean, it's pretty much the most amazing concept ever actualized.

And now this is starting to sound like some sappy public service announcement. Or children's public television programming. You know, "Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card!" (Anybody recognize that one?) That wasn't my intention. I'm just super nerdy and really love libraries. That's all.

So thank you, Benjamin Franklin, for making my life so much better.

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