Thursday, April 30, 2009

Library Geek

That's me. I'm a library geek, and I have been for a very long time. In fact, my very first real job was at the public library. I worked as a page, shelving books. That was a great job. Though difficult for someone like me who has a tendency to read a little of anything I get my hands on. I seem to recall standing in the shelves flipping through a lot of the books I was supposed to be shelving.

I also seem to recall that the children's picture books were filthy. Seriously, if you have cause to touch those books at the library, wash your hands immediately. That's probably how the swine flu is spreading. EW.

BUT ANYWAY.

Before I was a library employee, I was a heavy library user. I have been all my life, and I still am. Why buy a book if you're not sure you'll like it? What a waste of money. I much prefer checking out a dozen random books for free at the library and then, if I don't like one or more of them (which is often the case), I can just toss them aside without guilt.

I also love that more and more libraries are expanding their movie selection. This was a saving grace for A. and me in Albany, where the main library had a huge collection of movies. Not just weird literary adaptations, either, but all kinds of movies. We had ZERO money at the time, and many, many hours of entertainment were provided to us free of charge courtesy of the good taxpayers of Albany.

And now I volunteer at the village library nearby. I figured I might as well--I'm in there all the time, anyway. It's a teeny tiny library, but all the teeny tiny libraries in the area are affiliated, so I can use my card at any of them. I can also request anything from any of the other libraries be delivered to my home library for pick-up. It's not as convenient as having one huge library to browse through, but it's really nice to have a library in our tiny village so I don't have to drive 20 miles to get to one.

So, what's your take on libraries, duckies? Are you a library person or a bookstore person?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big time library user here ! I am like you I get several at a time and usually read at least one of them....sometimes I hit the jackpot and like them all. Not into the blood, sex and drugs stuff. I go for the more tame young adult stuff. Read all the Harry Potter books. Liked Jan Karon's - Mitford series. Susan Wittig Albert has written books on Beatrix Potter's life , which are really enjoyable. The more tame books, I want to go to a good place in my mind when I read.

Garden Pheenix said...

You just seeeriiiiously made me homesick for Canada. I LOVED the library since about... 10th grade? I was a book fiend. I still am but to Irelands eternal shame, the library system sucks here. Now I buy them second hand for fairly cheap. *Sigh* To have that back again would be bliss!

The Management said...

I'm a new age library user. My local library participates in a program that allows them to offer audiobooks, videos and music for download. You check the books out online just like you would check out a library book. It's tehawesome.

Susan said...

Just the smell of the library can make me happy. My mom took us at least once a week plus another visit for story hour.

Our library system here is great - they have well-known authors host lunches and cocktail hours(!) and speak for fundraising. Awesome!!

FinnyKnits said...

I love them both, although I do enjoy the no-guilt aspect of the library since I can't seem to control myself around books and will carry home sacks full even if I don't know if I'll like them.

I'm excited the weather's nice so that I can return to my childhood by riding my bike to our town's new library. It'll be just like I'm 10 years old again. Except, perhaps, less awkward. Let's hope.

Drew Kime said...

Love 'em, and got the kids hooked already. Videos and books. Their library cards see more action than the back seat of a bitchin' Camero.

Sara said...

I used to be a library rat. That was my name for the kids who had to wait in the library after school for someone to pick them up. One of the branches of the public library system was attached to our elementary school. This year, that elementary school reopened, newly renovated. We went to check it out and while standing in the main office, we realized that this is where our public library used to be, and, I admit, I teared up a bit. The ground has finally broken on the site where that branch is going to be built, just down the street from my old school. And I can't wait! It's going to be awesome, and I'll be back to visiting the library more often.

Anonymous said...

I've also been both. When I was an English teacher I bought my books and then used them to fill my classroom library. I now own a bunch of young adult lit and am missing many of my favorites (sign-out, schmine-out).

Now I'm not working, broke and have many new crafting interests, so I load up at the library every chance I get. I'm usually there with an antsy toddler so I just grab covers and titles that look good and then pick through them at home. I've noticed that I'm leaning more toward non-fiction and how-to books. Maybe because they're easier to judge by their covers?

Alyssa

Amy said...

I loved the library as a kid, but now I get my books from used bookstores or half(dot)com. Even if I didn't like the books, having them around the house makes me happy.

Meadowlark said...

I can't return the books on time so I quit.

With the layoff, it really is time to re-start. Although we just had a bomb threat there the other day. YIKES.

You're a good person for volunteering. I should do more of that now that I'm home. Thanks for the shove.

HettyB said...

Love libraries! I work at night and I can go online and search and request books to my heart's content. Thank goodness for technology!

The downside is that I'm #24 in line for the new Dresden Files book.

rls said...

Thanks, Drew. Now I have that song stuck in my head.

Grew up as a library user, then fell out of the habit, then fell back in when I had kids. The best part about it when I was young was that the borrowers had to sign the cards when they checked out the book (not like these newfangled bar code readers they have now) so you would get to know whether or not you might like a book based on who had read it before you.

Daisy said...

I'm a little of both. I buy books new, swap them on paperbackswap.com, and check them out from the library. My son (blind teenager) has been going through the library's teen section for audio books. He loves them.

Phoo-D said...

I grew up as a huge library user and was recently traumatized for a least a week when I learned that my state basically doesn't have a functioning library system. The state library selection is very limited and to order from out of state takes 3+ weeks. On top of that, there is no electronic system for ordering in books, I would have to take each title to a librarian and wait while it is entered into the system to see if it can be ordered (oh and somehow do this 9-5 Monday through Friday). That's probably a lot more than you wanted to know, but I feel better! =) Amazon is going to get a lot more of my $$.

Sweet Bird said...

I don't use the library nearly as much as I used to, though it's due more to lack of time than lack of want. We're actually fighting to keep our library open in the tiny little town I live in now. They want to close it and incorporate it into the larger one in Monterey.

Boo.

As a child it was nearly impossible to get me and my sister out of the library. We used to have to use baskets to carry the dozens of books we checked out. I think I was ten when a new librarian made some snide remark about "silly kids checking out more books than they can read and taking them away from people that would actually use them." Our mother was none too pleased.

Granted we were regularly checking out a dozen books or more per week, so I kind of get it now.

Tami bami wami said...

Grew up going to the library every week since i'm a speed reader and had lots of time on my hands. Eventually i stopped going to the library and started buying them new. Library was too slow in getting new books to read and i had read most of the books in the library anyways. The ones i hadn't read i wasn't really interested in them. So, amazon gets all of my business these days.

Oh, and i also found that there are forums that shares stories online. Some of them are good enough to be a book!! That's one way i save money. *grin*

Aunt Krissy said...

I went to the library all the time when I was a kid and while growing up. Now I have my dream job and work at a library. Love it. I get to touch and smell and read books.

Phoo-D. I'm so sorry. I think I would have to move out of whatever state you live in.

Becky said...

Oh gosh, Sweet Bird--I can't imagine a REAL librarian (at least since 1970) making a remark like that. BTW, I was the children's and YA librarian at Monterey Public (CA) many a year ago. So I'm a professional library junkie, but try to do my bit for the brick & mortar independents when I do buy. At the rate they are going out of business, though, it's getting tough to find them. Note to the MiL: Sam Weller's is closing the big store and going into something much smaller...sigh...

Mayberry Magpie said...

Book store person here, checking in!

But in college, I worked at the library as a staff writer. LOVED the library for many reasons. I could have been a librarian, I think.

Krysta said...

i love the idea if libraries... but because i always forget to take back my books on time it doesn't work for me. and as with most cities our library is cutting back and when i went to look at cookbooks not even a week ago there were maybe 50 cookbooks and that's not good when there was at one time rows and rows (or are they stacks?)

Susan said...

Huge fan. If I bought all the books I read I would run out of money and house space even faster than the current rate.