Steamy love stories, back rooms, wild adventures….at this point you may have already guessed that today’s post theme is….. the Library! Oh….that wasn’t your guess? Huh, not sure why……
The public library is an often unrecognized resource for all things AWESOME. You don’t have to be a bibliophile to appreciate all that this steady institution has to offer. Sorry – not sure what that word means? Maybe what you need is a place that can loan you a dictionary.
My love affair with the library dates back to the first summer I could ride my bike to our local branch and fill my basket to the brim. A few days later I would repeat the process all over again. Nothing was as sweet as walking up and down the aisles deciding which adventures I would embark upon that day.
Blessed art thou whose childhood neighbor was also a bibliophile. Let’s call her Leanne (because that’s her name). One summer Leanne and I took our book obsession to THE NEXT LEVEL by “sharing” our love with the other neighborhood children. We hauled piles of our own tomes out to the backyard table, lovingly wrote up due date papers, and then proceeded to force our friends to check out books. Those who resisted were tortured until they complied. I think my sister still has some scars. We loved books.
Modern libraries offer a treasure of goodies all for (insert mental drum roll)… FREE!!!! Below is a list of many really cool things you can do at and with the public library:
- Check out books – an obvious one. But the library also has magazines, reference guides, and some really fun how to books. Ever want to take up long distance water skiing? I actually don’t think that is a sport, but it should be. Want to know how to disappear and take all your assets with you? Oh, yeah – there’s a book for that. Yes, you may be put on a watch list for checking it out, but it is a great read. I’m on the list too….
- Rent movies. Most libraries offer a selection of new releases, documentaries, and old classics. Star Wars® movie marathon anyone?
- Children’s activities. Anyone who has ever tried to keep up with the attention span of a three-year old will fully appreciate the gift of story time at the library. It’s free, it’s fun, and there are grown-ups. Enough said. Older children can participate in summer reading programs. Each library is unique. That’s right – they are like snowflakes of knowledge. To find out what the library can offer your children, call your local branch.
- Music. Some libraries have a music lending section which is great when you want to try an album on for size without committing to ownership or are looking for specific tunes for an event.
- Book clubs. A great way to meet other readers and really dig into a book selection. If your library doesn’t have one, starting one can open doors to new friendships and a fun day out. Plus the librarians will really like you and who doesn’t like to be liked?
- Book readings by authors. Have you penned a book? Need a place to promote? How about your local libraries? Set up some readings, discussions, or Q & A sessions. A free book giveaway is a nice add-on to the event. Remember to have a copy to donate to the library.
- Need a meeting location? Most libraries have a community room that can be reserved at the circulation desk.
- Have a business and want to get the word out? Host a free seminar at your library. i.e. How to manage your money. How to write a winning business plan. How to write resumes and then include a critique (it would be helpful if you actually know something about one of these subjects). You can even have a book list ready so you can give some love back to the library. Send your attendees off to the card catalogs in search of their follow-up material (okay, I know it is now a computer screen but card catalog sounds so classic).
- Looking for a way to do more stuff locally for FREE? Many libraries have a great hidden gem – FREE passes to local places of interest such as museums, zoos, and historical homes. Just ask your librarian for the list.
Has it been awhile? Not even sure how to get to your local library? Confused as to how to use a library card? Check out this handy site: http://www.publiclibraries.com for library locations within the United States and US territories.
Not in the U.S.? This website helps you find books and libraries globally: http://www.worldcat.org/libraries I can’t attest to the accuracy of the global library locations so if anyone overseas wants to chime in on this one, have at it. Or if someone would like to sponsor a fact-finding mission I will readily agree to take on the task.
Still stuck on that second paragraph wondering what the heck a bibliophile is? Well I’m not telling you. Go ask a librarian.