Do you have your library cards yet? – my mom
These were some of the first questions my mom asked me about our new neighborhood. We had picked up our family and moved 1800 miles away from our friends and family. I was lamenting the lack of knowing where anything is and how WEIRD it is on the East Coast. Things are older, steeped in tradition and heritage, and more bureaucracy. Wandering around the city reveals the evolution of infrastructure, architecture, and style. Some things just get shoe-horned into ever-changing times, others get scraped and rebuilt.
Getting our library cards was one of the first things we did after getting our driver’s licenses changed over. Our local branch is less than a mile away, easily accessible by bike or walking. The hours are not as convenient as we’d like but with the magic of the internet you can go online, reserve a book, and get a text when it’s available so you can pick it up on your next available day (within the week).
Lots of community groups meet at the library. All summer my Tuesday night recovery ride met in the library parking lot. There was a youth camp meeting there at the same time. They have tons of cool programs like adult book clubs, youth reading programs geared to help reluctant readers, gardening club, movie night, and my favorite benefit – locks, repair kits, and pumps for your bike should you be in need of those items while at or near the library.
And of course, you can simply check out books, conduct research for your term paper, check your email or update your blog. Libraries are changing with the times – looking at how they can incorporate more e-readers like Kindles and Nooks into the borrowing process.
This all may sound so old-fashioned but it’s true that being active with your local library connects you to your community and your neighbors. Consider borrowing the latest novel you’re dying to read instead of rushing to the bookstore or favorite online retailer for the e-version.
All you need is a library card.