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jca's avatar

Do you utilize the services of your local public library?

Asked by jca (36043points) August 18th, 2012

I belong to a book group and so I visit the library, solely for that, once a month. I have attended several talks there, also (it’s actually not my local library, it’s in another town). Other than that, I don’t use the library for anything. I am wondering if the majority of people now don’t use their local libraries for anything.

I used to go sit in the library and read magazines, and use the Reference Department occasionally.

I know the library has computers for those who don’t have computers of their own.

Even though many people no longer use the public library, a good library is considered a great asset to a town, for real estate purposes. People are often proud of their local library and the services it offers.

Do you utilize the services of your local library?

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30 Answers

flutherother's avatar

I occasionally borrow books from mine and I can request titles from my computer at home. I also use the library to print stuff out; it only costs 10p a page. It is also handy for picking up leaflets for local events but I don’t go often, only once or twice a month. My local library runs a creative writing class and book discussion groups that I will probably join some day. I don’t use my library enough but I would hate to lose it.

Sunny2's avatar

I definitely do. Over the years I’ve used a number of them around the country. My favorite was in Towson, Maryland, when I was around 12 years old. It had cozy nooks in which I could sit and read without being interrupted. I loved it.
Getting a library card is the first thing I do after I’m settled in a new living situation.

marinelife's avatar

Regularly. I can’t bring myself to buy all the books I would read.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes. I have at least one book out all the time, and sometimes more, depending on how long I think it’s going to take me to read them.

Up until a few years ago, I tended to buy everything I wanted to read. That was foolish and short-sighted. Most of them were books I didn’t want to keep, but they accumulated and I had to deal with getting rid of them. They were also a completely unnecessary expense.

Bless the public library. It’s a much more important feature of our communities than we often recognize. I have several branches close by and am happy to note that they’re busy places with full parking lots and many users of all ages.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes. I love libraries. My dad and his Kiwanis Club got the public library started in the little town I’m from in the mountains in Virginia. I’m so proud of that fact.

In the town I now live in here in Florida, we have a library that isn’t associated with the public library system but is amazing. It operates seven days a week, 365 days a year entirely by volunteers. The library is huge and comfortable with nooks and crannies and overstuffed chairs and couches and pillows and lamps and books and books and books and books and puzzles and computers and CDs and DVDs and artwork. The library is used by some 1,500 residents a week in the winter months. All books are donated and you don’t have to have a library card to check out books. Amazing.

gailcalled's avatar

If I spent more time there, I would have to pay rent.

Whenever I have moved, one of the first things I did was to find the library and get my card.

I live now in a town of about 5000 people, but the local library is wonderful. It uses an interlibrary load system that gives us access to about 35 small-town libraries plus cities like Poughkeepsie, Rochester and Syracuse.

A driver in a little van tootles around a large area daily. My library has original Louis Comfort Tiffany 12’ high stained glass windows along with 12 computers.

I read The New Yorker, People Mazazine, and the Sunday Times Magazine and Book Review.

There is a special and heavily-used section for the kids with story-telling, arts and crafts and some tutoring and teaching.

I have been systematically working my way through Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld, all 30 or so volumes; I listen to audio books on CDs to combat insomnia: and I get DVDs out in order to watch at home without the soundtrack blasting and the teenagers chatting.

bkcunningham's avatar

@gailcalled, aaahhhhhhh.

Wait! Did you say, twelve foot high Louise Comfort Tiffany leaded stained glass windows? How did the town manage that? How many are there and what are the images? Ohh, I’d love to see that. I almost could see it. Just for a fleeting second from your words. How lovely that must be.

Does it smell like books in your library?

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: Wait, you said they use an interlibrary load? Load?

Jeruba's avatar

I think she meant “loan.”

gailcalled's avatar

This new spell-check is a demon. I blink for one minute and look what happens.

@bkcunningham: Here is a photo (not very good) of the windows. Chatham Free Library

It doesn’t show the scale or the flood of colors; the windows loom (take that, spell-check) over the viewer.

Next time I’m there, I try to take a picture or check with the staff to see whether someone has already done that.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When I was growing up, my grandmother was the local librarian. I used to spend the day with her all the time. I’ve loved libraries ever since.

jca's avatar

@Jeruba: I know. She gets me on my spelling errors so I’m returning the favor (not saying I love her any less).

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: I just googled that library and it’s 1½ hours from my house. I think I’ll take a ride up there one day!

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, my, @gailcalled. Look what I found. See page 13.

I had to have a better look at that window. Breathtaking. I can’t imagine seeing it in real life. Thank God for people like Gertrude Wheeler and my dad.

gailcalled's avatar

@bkcunningham: Good for you. (How did you find it?) The photo of the window appears on p. xi. but on p.13 in the little window.

Check on p. 15 for another truly charming library in Great Barrington, across the line in the Berkshires of MA. It is also the cover shot, framed by a heart. My new Doc is in GB so I will check out that library the next time I am there.

(I do see that it is published in Great Barrington, which makes for a bias.)

Tell us about your dad.

bkcunningham's avatar

I did a simple Google search for: Chatham, NY, public library Tiffany window.

elspethe's avatar

I do and love it…have made friends there, rent dvds every week…I believe I’ve won the record for having Stephen King’s “On Writing” book out…they have many books for free…computers…lectures…and in good weather can ride my bike there…and just attended my first book club!

janbb's avatar

I used to use it more than I do now. With all the turmoil in my life this year, I am reading less (despite that book in my flippers.)

Aethelflaed's avatar

Not really. They don’t have as good of selection as my school’s library, and are far less generous with their loaning period.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I go to the library on a weekly basis & I generally check out at least 4 or 5 books (I do a lot of reading). I also buy a lot of books, but I don’t have the money to buy everything I want to read. I love libraries!

JLeslie's avatar


When my parents visit one of their favorite libraries in the nation to spend time in is my main library where I live. Who’da thunk it? In Memphis. We have a ritual of going there and then eating at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, which is one of my mom’s favorites.

I help plan a charity event here in town, and we use a meeting room at one of the libraries in the metro area to meet up and work out the details.

My husband just asked me to see if my library has a movie he wants to see. I used to borrow movies more often when I lived in FL, I do it very rarely here.

If I needed to research something in depth I would go to the library. I would never just rely on the internet.

I just bought my aunt a Kindle and we look forward to borrowing books from her library on the Kindle. Currently she has books sent to her home through the mail. It has been such a great service while she has been unable to get out of the house due to health reasons.

The idea of libraries closing is very sad to me. If I had children I would love to bring my kids to story time, and let them just sit and pick out books they want to borrow.

Sunny2's avatar

When I go to New York City, I always make one of my stops at the Public Library on 5th Avenue. They have wonderful exhibit of a literary nature and are very much worth seeing. and it’s FREE!

ucme's avatar

No, I refuse to be silenced.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Oh, yes, I do. I have cards for three libraries: the city library system, the county library system, and since we are just across the border, the Beverly Hills Library. What’s nice about both the city and county systems is being able to place holds on books at various branches, and have them sent to my local branch. Gives me access to to more books than I could ever dream of!

Occasionally I borrow movies as well. I use the reference section once in a while. Also head there to take refuge on really hot days, so I can avail myself of two great inventions in the history of mankind: books and air conditioning. ;-)

Can’t imagine my life without libraries.

Strauss's avatar

Definitely! When I was conducting a job search, I would spend hours at the computer, checking on-line job services, posting resumes, and the like. Now I don’t generally go to the library, but I do check out e-books for my Kindle Fire.

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: I was in your neck of the woods today for the Columbia County Fair.

gailcalled's avatar

@jca: That’s a four-mile drive from me and Milo.

I avoided going to town because of the traffic jams, horrendous by our standards.

Did you have fun? It is a wonderful example of the rural tradition, isn’t it? Did you see the sheep sheering and the antique fire trucks? The weather was perfect. Did you take your daughter?

We also had at our performing arts academy in Spencertown (1.3 miles from us) day two of the book fair. Tons of nice used books, lovely speeches by local (usually famous) authors, good food and crafts and a chance to gossip with everyone. I am going tomorrow to get the end-of-the-day sale prices.

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: Yes, we had fun. It’s the 3rd or 4th time we’ve been to that fair. I like it because there are nice people and the country atmosphere. We usually go later in the day so it’s not as hot and crowded. I like the Exposition Hall with the 4H stuff – quilts, etc. I went with my daughter and a friend of ours, and we were there from around 4 to 9:30 – got home at 11. It’s an hour and a half ride.

I would love to go to the book fair another year. It sounds like a good time. I love that stuff.

I like the Victorians en route to the Chatham Fairgrounds.

gailcalled's avatar

@jca: I have good friends who live in one of the painted ladies on the east side of the street (county rte 66) You should see the inside. When the family bought the house 20 years ago, they had to wait 5 months to move in while the lead-based paint was removed.

You can see why I love living here. The views en route to and on the Taconic are also wonderful.

Next year do both. The book fair venue is extremely user-friendly and is in the hamlet of Spencertown, six miles from Chatham.

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: Yes, we’ll do both next year. Maybe on the same day!

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