I’ll admit — I’m a bit biased. I’ve been involved in libraries for most of my life, tottering after my mom on her volunteer shifts, joining the Junior Librarians program in middle school, and then (like a blessing from heaven) being assigned to the library for my college work study. My fiancé and I recently moved towns and my new library is housed in the most peaceful, light-filled building with a perfect “curl up in a quiet corner with a steaming mug of tea and read something magical” vibe. Needless to say, I’m mildly obsessed with libraries. Here are five reasons you should be too!
1. Free ebooks and audiobooks!
People often don’t realize, but libraries are joining the digital age! Through apps and websites like Overdrive and Libby, even my hometown’s tiny one-roomed library has the ability to lend both ebooks and audiobooks to its members. Check your library’s website or go to Overdrive.com directly to find out if your library does too.
Hint: You may have to search for your library’s network (e.g. my hometown’s is the Green Mountain Library Network) and use that to sign in.
2. Support authors when you don’t have money!
When a library orders books, it counts towards an author’s success and likelihood of publishers buying their future stories. This includes upcoming books in series that are mid-release! Many books aren’t optioned for the entire series but bought individually based on the previous book(s)’s success. Support your favorite authors (and help guarantee you wont be left hanging mid-series!) by asking your librarian to stock your favorite authors’ books.
3. Free programs (literary and otherwise!)
Library programs target every age, from the littlest to most experienced bookworms. The more patrons a library has, the more programs they’re able to provide – so your membership (and everyone you convince to tag along) will increase the number of available programs!
When I was younger, my ittybitty library had a select number of activities ranging from educational (Get to Know Your Local Bat Species) to fun (Lego Building Blast!) to bookish (Annual Summer Reading Program). At my current library, there are (no joke, I just counted) ninety-nine scheduled events listed in our Summer 2019 Newsletter. These cover a huge variety of topics and include programs like Cord Cutting 101, live music, monthly movie nights, Cookbook Club, and a portable planetarium show.
4. Get to know other bookworms!
Visiting the library, volunteering at programs, and chatting with the check-out librarian are great ways to meet other book-crazed people. While I’m definitely guilty of finding most of my bookfriends online, I try to remember that IRL library visitors also adore books. And most people LOVE to rave about their latest and greatest book obsession. On your next visit, try chatting up the person hunting through the same book stack as you for recommendations and, dare I say, a possible new bookfriend??
5. And most importantly, FREE BOOKS!
My monthly book expenditures can get out of hand (thanks, Bookoutlet.com). When I realize I’m getting dangerously close to spending more money on books than food, I drive to the library and remind myself of all the glorious, beautiful, free books available to me at any time and for absolutely no money.
As is clearly evident from this enthusiastic post, I am a huge proponent of libraries. From programs to books (and ebooks and audiobooks) to supporting authors, libraries are an invaluable source of bookish love.
Do you visit your local library? Let me know what you love about your library! And if you have questions on how to get involved in a library (either directly or indirectly), chat me in the comments below.