The other day I was finally able to cross off an item that had been lingering on my to-do list. I can’t begin to describe how excited I was. After filling out and submitting an application online, I drove hurriedly to pick up…my library card!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I realize precisely how strange it is that I am excited about getting my library card; self-proclaimed nerd here. It’s not like I’m stuck in the dark ages, either. I have a laptop, a smart phone, a blog (obviously), social media accounts, etc. The thing is, even with all this technology at my fingertips, I find there’s something missing. I want to sit in a place where social norms say it’s inappropriate be loud and obnoxious, where I can be left in peace for a minute.
When I walked into that library to pick up my card, I was in awe. The library that I went to as a child is little more than a room that happens to have shelves of books. This, by comparison, is a veritable literature fortress! It’s a two-story building, with a blue neon sign announcing the teen section and self checkout kiosks (see, they have technology too). The children’s section is kept in a back corner that I didn’t visit, but looks quite large. I didn’t even have a chance to venture upstairs to visit the nonfiction section and the local history center.
I also learned a few new things. Maybe you savvy people already knew these things, but I was excited. Card-carrying members can*:
- Check out DVDs–and not just old documentaries! I’m so used to services like Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Heck, even iTunes lets you rent shows and movies. How did I not know you can rent movies for free from the library?
- Log on to a language learning program–it’s similar to Rosetta Stone. I think I’ll resume my Japanese studies…for free!
- Download music for free. Sweet! Any time I don’t have to pay $0.99 or $1.29 per song, I’ll take it. Oh, and I just downloaded a Weird Al song while I was writing this. Yep.
*Keep in mind this was on the website of my city’s library. Yours might have different resources.
I think libraries are a highly under utilized public resource. Go check yours out, you might discover some pretty cool stuff (for free!).
Just for fun, here’s a collection of photos featuring some of the most beautiful libraries in the world. I would LOVE to visit any of these. Even looking at these pictures makes me giddy like a 15-year-old girl who hasn’t seen her best friend for an entire class period.
p.s. The title of this blog was inspired by a site that tells you the newest stuff at your local library. It was too cool to pass up.