Thursday, April 2, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

btt button

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.

12 comments:

John Baird said...

The thing I most remember about the small library in the tiny town of my youth (in addition to The Hardy Boys) is that a spring bubbled beneath it. A roughly 3'X3' hole in the floor, covered by a heavy Plexiglass, revealed the spring. It was like a little bit of magic hidden beneath the library.

Kathy said...

The library we had when I was young was in an old grocery store. It always smelled like rotten food in there.
The first time I saw a coffee bar in a library I was floored. Kinda nice getting to set around with your books and have a cup of coffee.

Blodeuedd said...

I do love all kinds of libraries :)
But yes, fees, I can't believe that I just got one, ok it's tiny, 60 cents for 4 books. I am just annoyed I forgot.

Beth F said...

I love the story about the librarian recognizing you!

Jess said...

That is another great thing about libraries -- the classes you can take for free. At my library, I took computer classes and a yoga class once. It was a lot of fun.

http://barneysbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/booking-through-thursday-42.html

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I spent a lot of time at the library after school too waiting for mom to pick me up. I completely forgot about that until you mentioned it.

bermudaonion said...

I used to use the library a lot more than I do now. Since I've had contact with authors and folks in the publishing industry I like to buy books to support their efforts.

candyschultz said...

As a child my library was my refuge. I never use the one we have now. They almost never have what I am looking for. They are willing to buy the things I want but I see no reason for them to do that when no one else may read them. We have gorgeous buildings but not very good books.

mattviews said...

Great answer! I was such a magnet to libraries when I was young. I still remembered that sensation of getting my library card---that felt so privileged and special!

I love going there to read my own books these days! I usually buy my books because sometimes I'm just on a binge of an author or a subject.

Sandra said...

Great answers. Some libraries have cafes now, really? That is so funny about being recognized. I bet it made you feel like a kid again for a moment.

Maree said...

"Any kind" is my favourite type of library too :)

Holly said...

Libraries are simply wonderful. I'd be lost without mine. I loved the library as a child and still do. My boys love the library though and have their favorite shelves and sections!