A Visit to the Wowbrary

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.

Book nerd-vana.

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.

6 comments on “A Visit to the Wowbrary

  1. I wish my library were half that cool. Mine is more like the room that happens to have a stack of books in it 😦 Everything is outdated, and forget trying to get new releases of ANYTHING for like 2 or 3 decades. I haven’t gone there in months. If I want to look at books, I go to a bookstore. If I want to read books I buy them on my kindle. It makes me so sad.

    • What a shame! I know e-readers are making places like this obsolete, but I wish cities would invest more in making them places for the community to go. =\

  2. I have a libary card. I have a fantasy book checked out right now called “aurailia’s colors”. It’s good. The la habra branch is pretty small and a little ghetto so I don’t sit inside. I didn’t know u could download music for free, though? Do u just type in the library cite online?

  3. That’s crazy that you can download music for free. Also, I’ve been considering learning the basics of a new language, so I’ll have to check that out. Oh, and if you want nerdiness… I actually COLLECT library cards from cities in which I’ve lived. Yeah. That’s right. 🙂

    Ugh, of COURSE all those cool libraries are in Europe…

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