4.26.2012

Use This: The Library

I recently had a friend who was taking a class where she had to watch movies and analyze them. She was talking about how expensive it was getting, as she was often buying the movies, since she never knew how long she was going to have them, and she usually uses Redbox. She does the same kind of work as me, where she moves from place to place, so Netflix was not as easy for her to use. I asked her why she wasn't using the library and she said she didn't realize that the library had movies.

Did you know that the library has movies? For free? And most libraries let you keep them for 7 days.

I have considered going back to school to get a Masters in Library Sciences, so when I was working in Missouri, I went to the local library and offered to volunteer, so I could get more of a handle on what a librarian actually does. To tell you the truth, I was surprised that a librarian does a lot more than I realized,  but one of the main things was helping patrons, aka customer service. So I am still on the fence about that decision. However, I also learned a lot about the things the library offers while I was there.


They have computers, and often a computer lab, with free access to the internet, printers and scanners. And if you are a 12 year old boy, games.

They have books, obviously, but they often have the most recent books out. I even got to help buy books while I was working there (They call it acquisitions. It sounds much more professional that way!) But did you know that if they don't have a book you want, they can get it on an inter-library loan, which means from outside the city, county, state or even country! A lady I know had a book transferred to her from Canada! If nobody has it, fear not, they can even buy it for you if it's in the budget!

They have books on CD. Lots of them! New titles and everything! I borrowed a lot of these, downloaded them and put them on my iPod where I now listen to them while I am running! Move over Ira Glass!

They have eBooks. These you can download without even going into the library. I think that they usually let you keep them for a couple weeks and then it goes away if you don't renew.

They have magazines. Yes. And you can take them out. If you have a flight coming up, you can stock up on Glamor before you go.

The have TV shows. These are the same as the movies; I think you can only rent them for one week, instead of two or three like books. But they have good shows and recent enough ones too! 

They have many reference materials, genealogy materials, newspapers, professional journals and the like.

Many libraries also have: a language learning program (there is one online called Mango), help with a job search, car repair information, practice tests like the GRE or Citizenship tests, tutorials for Microsoft applications and my favorite: Novelist.

Novelist is something the library has to pay for, so not all of them have it, but it's a book recommending site. If you just read a great book, The Hunger Games, for instance, you do a search and it gives you suggestions for books you may want to read next. Or if you are looking for historical fiction about WWII, you can find out that the top books for that, based on popularity are: The Postmistress, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Day After Night (which I am putting on my To Read list right now). Not only that, but it gives you a synopsis of each book. The only thing it's missing is a way to auto upload to Goodreads.

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is....I love the library! Sometimes you don't realize what resources are available to you! I didn't!  One last thing. My best friend: the HOLD. Before even going into the library, you can look up what you want and see if your local branch has it. If not, you can place a hold, so they will transfer it in for you and then hold it once it gets there. So you just sit back and wait! It's great! As you can see, I am a fan.

Do you use your local library? If so, what do you utilize the most? Have I missed anything useful?

17 comments:

  1. They also have lots of music, and often new releases! I must admit I've borrowed a lot of music from the library when I didn't feel like buying the album or songs from iTunes. I figure hey, my taxes help pay for it so I'm going to use it! And yeah, the hold list is my best friend too.

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  2. i love libraries-and actually-i think I would move back to the UK for this reason. es, most British Councils have libraries you can use, but they are never an easy place to get in the city. there was /is quite a good book exchange in Kampala I used-but you had to pay for it. Libraries are great-I used to borrow Kylie tapes from there when I was younger...and always thought when I retired from teaching I would like to be a librarian! go libraries!

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  3. The library really is an incredible place. I remember when I was in high school and I first learned our library loaned movies (for our VCRs, back in the stone age) - I thought it was sooooo cool! I really don't use our library now at all. But, one thing that's pretty great about the libraries in our city is they offer free passes to a lot of the museums. You just have to take out the pass the same way you would a book. Great perk for city residents!

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  4. Thanks for posting this. I am so lucky to live in Columbus, Ohio with the best library system in nation. I absolutely love our library and use it all the time.

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  5. The library seriously has everything these days! I always forget about the DVD's though.

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  6. Since I work in a library I've utilized it a lot for all of these different things. It's amazing what you can get. I plan on getting my Master's of Library Science starting next year.

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  7. I agree the library is awesome. Some have ridiculously strict computer policies though. But ours even has free tickets and discount passes to local events. Who knew?

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  8. Ahh, I *love* libraries! At one of the libraries around where I live, they even have a "drive thru" where you can pick up any on hold books, drop off books, and pay fines. It was aaamazing!

    Now, I do all my reading on my Kindle so I'm constantly searching my library's digital page to see what's available now. And you can get books instantly! Oh, technology.

    As a side note, I could NEVER be a librarian. Too many rowdy middle-schoolers! It's like, their hangout or something and can be SO annoying, lol.

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  9. Love this. I'm always surprised and saddened when people don't seem to know about the library. I'm an addict. My newest addiction is audiobooks since I don't have much time for leisure reading these days. Actually, I hope to put up a post on the audiobook To Kill a Mockingbird from the library tonight.

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  10. I use the library like it is my job. One of my goals for 2012 was to not buy any books and thanks to the library, this has not been that hard of a goal! I love borrowing e-books! And i got a movie from the library last week (Funny Face), and I tend to have 2-3 books!

    When i was in grad school, we used the local libraries meeting rooms to meet to do group projects, so that was super handy.

    I did not have a library growing up as I lived in a tiny town of 500, so I have loved discovering the library as an adult!!!

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  11. Renting movies from the library is best! We can reserve em online, and get order em from other branches...

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  12. I have been a library user since before I started school!

    Since we got the boat, and I had a space challenge, I quit buying books for the most part, and let my magazine subscriptions expire too. The library became my best friend.

    The one in our marina town is a 15 minute walk away and we often stop there during the week. I like to look at magazines while The Captain catches up on newspapers. And we do borrow books, magazines, DVDs, video tapes, reference material and even the occasional CD.

    Before we had internet on the boat, we used the library computers for email and research as well.

    Now I borrow ebooks and audio books online and really do make good use of our library's RESERVE/HOLD services.

    Because we live in one area on the boat, and have been house-sitting in another, I have had the luxury of belonging to 2 different library systems for the past few years.

    Very helpful and informative post, Kyria.

    And you just reminded me, I have a book that has come in for me, on hold, and I must pick it up tomorrow!

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  13. I think I lived at the library when I was growing up...free computer time, books galore, magazines, dvds....they have it all and it's a shame most people now a days don't even take advantage of them! Great post!

    xoxo from Trinidad

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  14. I have to admit that I haven't utilized my local library here very much, but that's because it's more convenient for me to use the university library, which also has fiction, movies, etc. I have very much enjoyed the use of public libraries in the past and probably will in the future, too.

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  15. I love the library! My only complaints about holding books at my library is the fee. I understand if it is coming from another library, but if it is at MY library already, I get a little ticked. It's not like it is super expensive but I mean, it is IN the building. So I don't do those unless it is a new release I want to borrow.

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  16. I LOVE the library. But I don't use it nearly enough. And I've never once checked out a movie. I don't know why...

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  17. This post ROCKS!! I feel like I'm going to have to follow the blogs of all the commentators, too--least I could do! I'll probably also show it to my co-workers. We live in this place where we're constantly trying to get the word out--it works much better when people hear it from their friends than when they hear it from us!

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!