Suggested by Barbara:
I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?
I use my public library occasionally. I buy most of the books I read, because I have a habit of returning things late and racking up overdue fees, but I borrow books for my book club reading because it's starting to get expensive to buy those every month! I also use the library for the collection development work I do for my job. Every month or so, I get a professional newsletter with the latest in Jewish book reviews. I read the reviews, then I borrow the titles I want to consider for my library. And I'm due to request a new batch soon!
I don't think the coffeehouse has replaced the library, at least in my area. It will always be nice to have that free, public pied-a-terre where you can always come in to read, without having to spend money. And so many libraries have their own cafes these days, so you can have both experiences in one if you want.
As a child I went to the library constantly. I was a latch-key kid, so the library was where I went after school almost every day until high school, and even then I was a regular. The children's librarians were some of my best friends as a little kid, although the adult-services librarians were sort of stereotypical scary-bun-wearing ladies who didn't seem to like kids. And since, as I said above, I often returned books late, and even had my card taken away twice, they didn't like me very much!
To give you an idea of how much of a regular I was as a kid, when I was about 25 I took an adult-education class at a local community college; one of my classmates was one of the children's librarians I knew as a child and he recognized me, though he hadn't seen me in 15 years!
What kind of library do I like? Any kind. Libraries are treasures.