Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Some people, all right a lot of people, say that libraries are no longer of any use and we should just save our money by closing them. I could not disagree more strongly. There are a lot of people for whom librarys are not just a convenience, but a way of life.

photo of hand with library card says get it use it.

Let me tell you a bit about my daughter. She suffers from a learning disability and struggled in school, but ironically, reading was her escape. Vampires and monsters helped her find a world where she could come to grips with anger, frustration, and feeling like an outsider. And believe it or not, Shakespeare pulsates with a music powerful enough to calm her sometimes fevered mind. I guess The Bard was a bit of a 'brain whisperer.'

Now a mother herself, and on a very tight budget, she uses her library card for all it's worth. She tends to keep that card smokin'. No cable. No problem. No internet. No problem. Cranky car. No problem. She and the kids can go any place in the universe (or beyond).  They have a library card.

Experts like to talk about 'enrichment' to help our kids all reach their potential. Well, libraries are an essential element in that enrichment for a substantial portion of our fellows. And we can help support them by supporting our local libraries - even if we prefer to buy our own books, even if we can read them on line or on our ebook reader, even if we don't particularly care to read (what are you doing here?).


The San Francisco Examiner offered these reasons 
to get a Library card as well.
10 reasons you should get a library card:

1. You are already paying for it. During these tough economic times, why would you pay double for something? A 2008 poll showed library usage at an all-time high. 
2. Save money. While you may want to own a few favorite titles, do you really need all those books? Anyone who has ever moved will tell you, “Moving boxes of books stinks.”
3. You get to try titles and genres you might otherwise miss. You may not want to plunk down $20 just to find out you that you detest the latest craze in vampire romance novels.
4. Reading broadly makes you smarter. Studies have repeatedly shown that vocabulary development, language acquisition and background knowledge are all improved in those who have been exposed to a variety of information.
5. You can get more than books with your library card. The library offers an amazing array of products and services: DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers, movie nights, computer use, homework help, college prep, after school programs, kid & teen programs, author visits, career planning, and free classes. Many libraries are beginning to feature audio books, eBooks and even eMovies that are downloadable from your home computer.
6. Libraries are better than bookstores. If the bookstore doesn’t have a title or subject you are searching for, you can get it through Interlibrary Loan. This even works for international titles! The library also has 24-hour online access. Bookstores close, but you can access databases and reference information while sitting in your pajamas.
7. Free WiFi. No more wardriving or mocha latte obligations for you.
8. They will bring the books to you. Some libraries will deliver titles you request right to your mailbox and many neighborhoods have bookmobiles. Think of it as the corner ice cream truck, only less fattening.
9. Libraries will give you free money. Most library cards offer perks like discounts to museums, zoos and art galleries in your community.
10. Librarians are hot. While you’re there, getting your shiny new library card, remember to hug the librarian. They hold the keys to unlocking our mass of information, the superheroes of our information-saturated society.

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