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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Are libraries really still necessary?

Yes. Libraries are necessary. As a matter of fact, if you aren't going to the library at least once a week, you are missing out on vast opportunities to not only educationally improve your life, but save yourself a lot of money too. Few of us really think of the library anymore as anything other than a quiet place that people in school go to study. With the introduction of online books and media (and a computer in nearly every home), the reasons for going to the library seem fewer and fewer each year. But the library is still an un-matchable force of information for a few very good reasons:

1. You don't have to pay for the books you want to read at the library, and they get new ones a lot more often than you would think.

2. Most libraries are a part of a bigger team or co-op of libraries that can borrow from one another. If they don't have the book you are looking for, they can have it sent to their location and held for you. For free. (Try getting a Kindle to do that.)

3. They have movies that are free to borrow. Quite the selection of them actually. It's like a mini Blockbuster in the library that we frequent, and it isn't hard to find the movies I want.

4. They have video games to rent. On every platform. For free. Free.

5. Almost all libraries have a system where you can 'check-out' a computer for an hour or longer. If you don't have a printer, copier, or scanner, you can use their machines (usually for a small cost) and get all your work done in one easy place.

6. They can improve your social life and be a great source of networking. 'Networking' is just a term to describe having a large group of people you know that can provide you with more life opportunities. If you are having trouble meeting people with your same interests to hang out with (who doesn't these days?), then head to the library.

7. The library has tons of events each year (most are free or only a few dollars) that can improve your social calendar and intelligence. As a bonus, people who are continually learning and people with enriching events on their social calendars have a higher quality of life, which leads to general overall happiness. For example, the library near me has a Dr. Seuss get-together for the younger children, and a brunch next month for adults (just $15). Going to brunch at the library? Sounds like something out of a movie, count me in!

If the library you've been going to doesn't have these options, it could be that they are just a smaller library. Ask the front desk what bigger libraries they are associated with, and what they are able to have sent to their location. If they aren't part of a process like that, ask them if they know of a bigger library nearby that has the sort of things you are referring to. Chances are that they will know exactly where to point you.

So before you drive to the Redbox and feed it another dollar, or before you hit 'Buy' to grab another story on your e-Reader... check out the library. They might already have what you're looking for (and more) for free.


  1. We love our library!!! We have many, many items checked out at any one time for this family of seven!

  2. One of our local libraries is about to close and it saddens me to think about the people who really do depend on their services. We have got to instill a love of reading and community in our kids. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I always loved going to the library. Give me a book in hand over a flat screen that I can't turn a page over any day!

  4. I have loved visiting the library since I was a little girl overwhelmed at the options and gazillions of books just waiting to be read. I introduced my children and grandchildren to the library when they were young and they're all avid readers. Gaye M; rustysrambles(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Our library is just down the street. I take my children there once a week or so to pick out books and participate in the programs they have. I love to read so it's a great way for me to get new books without having to pay for them.

  6. During the summer I take my grandkids every week at least. They love it and it's free!