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Myndecho's avatar

How good is your local library?

Asked by Myndecho (948points) May 28th, 2009

I live in a small town of about 5,000 people, as a result the library often doesn’t have any books for the topic I’m looking for.

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19 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Brooklyn Public Library System is fantastic; I think it’s better than Manhattan’s! But I have cards for both. My library branch is two blocks from me and I get books there all the time.

Darwin's avatar

Our local library sucks, because the head of the library system believes with all his heart that books will soon be replaced entirely by computers, and because he authorizes only purchasing books from the New York Times bestseller lists. He wants to reach the “common man.” rather than the intellectual.

In addition, if one of the books is damaged and you report it, they throw it away rather than repair it, and replace it with another bestseller.

So if you want to read The Notebook again or the latest Stephanie Meyers book you’re good, but if you want a classic or real literature, forget about it.

Amazon is your friend.

dynamicduo's avatar

As I live in the capital of Canada, we have a pretty good library system. It has tons of books and multiple copies of new ones, but the demand is SO high that there are hundreds of holds on the most popular books and even ten and twenty holds on not recent but popular books. Luckily I am a patient person, and they will ship books across town to your local library for free, so I keep a reading list going and books cycle in and out of my house regularly.

eponymoushipster's avatar

My current library system, outside of Philly, is meh. IMO. Some of the limits on what materials you can take out, and in what quantity are ridiculous.

My previous system, for which I worked, was awesome. free delivery to all patrons at home, computer classes, online everything, even had an iPhone/Blackberry app to view the catalog as you walked the stacks. Etc. (

gailcalled's avatar

I live also 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.

casheroo's avatar

The town I grew up in had a crappy children’s library but a nice township library. Where I’m at now, the children’s library seems better than the regular library.
I use my college library a lot, because I rarely check out books to read for enjoyment at the library. I should actually do that, to save money because I spend a lot at Borders!

bea2345's avatar

The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) gives good service.

CMaz's avatar

Taste like chicken.

hug_of_war's avatar

I live in a large city with a huge system, so I think it’s pretty darn good. Some of the libraries are smaller and not as good, but because they are all branches of a larger system, it’s not that bothersome. In fact, sometimes I think this city has too many libraries. (I live in a city of roughly a million)

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s so good it featured in the Da Vinci Code.

skfinkel's avatar

I love my public library! (Seattle). You can get the books you need from an on-line catalog, they will send them to your local library, and there you go.

The only thing is that I think libraries should be open 18 hours a day. Expensive—but important.

Supacase's avatar

It isn’t great. The libraries in Fayetteville, NC and Yorba Linda, CA (both places I have lived) were much better.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I work at a library in a town of about 1500 people. The building is too small, we have too little shelf space & we don’t have near the perks we want to offer the public. We’re in the process of trying to get things together to build a new one. It’s a daunting project for such a small town, but the need is real & we won’t quit until we have our new library.

Besides books & magazines, we offer DVDs, videos & CDs for rental. We have 3 computers for public use & we have wireless connection. We need a lot more room & we want 6 computers. We offer a summer story hour program that runs through all of June.

The head librarian is great & we have a library board that cooperates with us. If someone wants a book that we don’t have inhouse, we have an interlibrary system that we can order it from other libraries in the state. Altho we’re small & need a new facility, it’s great fun to work there, & we do the best we can with what we have.

EmpressPixie's avatar

The Chicago Public Library system is great!! I love it! Branches everywhere you look, a huge collection, swift loan system, great reservation system.

But the Snow Isle system is better.

icepebbles's avatar

Good selection of books, but somewhat unpleasant atmosphere, as homeless people tend to congregate there.

fundevogel's avatar

My library is awful, but it’s part of the LA county system so I mostly just request books from other branches and then pick them up at mine.

bea2345's avatar

That makes it a good library. Try one that has no communication with any other library.

fundevogel's avatar

It’s part of a good system, but it’s one of those buildings that makes you want to leave as soon as you get there, and I usually love libraries.

bea2345's avatar

You have my sympathies. Back in 1974–5, when I was at the College of Librarianship Wales, I did my leisure reading at the Aberystwyth Public Library. Or rather, got it there: there was nowhere to sit, not even to consult the reference collection. I would borrow and then adjourn to the nearest cafe. But like all the public libraries I visited it had a large collection of thrillers.

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