why i love the library essay

of a Country Wife

19 Reasons why you Should go to the Library

The library is a place full of excitement and wonder, but with the Internet and the rise of ebooks, is the library a thing of the past?

go to the library

The library is one of my favorite places to go. We live in the country so our library is quite small compared to a library in the city, but nonetheless it’s a place of magic to me. I don’t believe libraries are a thing of the past.

Since my kids were small we have been making frequent trips to the library. When they were so busy as toddlers and preschoolers it was a great place to get board books that would hold their attention for a short while.

Now that my kids are 11, 9, and 6, it has become one of their favorite places too. They beg to go. They take out multiple books and spend hours upon hours engrossed in them. I’m not going to lie, library day is the quietest day of my week. After we come home from a trip to the library they quickly disappear to find a cozy spot in the house to read their books.

While there is nothing like holding a real book or even smelling that old book smell (I know book lovers will agree with me on this one) libraries have become a place full of services and resources that go beyond hard copy books.

Yes, you can go get an old-fashioned book at the library still, but that doesn’t mean libraries are archaic. They have changed with the times, and there are a ton of ways libraries can benefit you in this modern society.

Let’s talk today about all the reasons why you should go to the library.


It creates a love of reading. My kids all enjoy reading. Each one has a different preference when it comes to the books they like to read. My oldest prefers chapter books, my middle prefers fact books, and my youngest loves picture books.

Not only do they read their books the minute they get home, they bring those books with them in the car, or to church, to appointments, or in their beds to catch a bit of reading time before they go to sleep (or there are those times I hear the pages turn AFTER bedtime. We all did it as kids, and I can think of worse things for my kids to be sneakily doing.)

Reading teaches them a greater vocabulary. Sometimes the words out of my children’s mouths surprise me. They are articulate and speak with words I probably didn’t know the meaning of at their age. There are times they say a word and I ask them where they learned it, and 9 out of 10 times they say “from a book.”

It reduces screen time. We live in a world where we are all bombarded with screens, whether it be the computer, an Ipad, a cellphone, or a TV. We have all seen the articles of the negative affects of too much screen time.

Any time we are reading a hard copy book means less time in front of the screen. It’s good for our brains.

They can benefit from other amazing programs at the library. These days libraries often offer more than just books. Our local library offers art classes, craft nights, special programs for kids during March break and summer, and so much more! Libraries have become a place that goes beyond books.

You can borrow eBooks. Okay, maybe you are one of those people who have fallen in love with eBooks and there is no changing that. Well, many libraries have eBooks now that you can check out. Depending on your library, you may be able to check out eBooks from the comfort of your own home!

They offer classes. Libraries often offer various classes like personal development classes, GED preparation, learning how to navigate the Internet or computer easily, and so much more.

You can sometimes buy books. There are times libraries need to free up space on their shelves and often when that happens they sell the books they are getting rid of at super cheap prices. Sometimes if you are really lucky they may just give them away for free.

Libraries build a sense of community. While I know it also depends on the size of your library, if you go often enough you get to know the people behind the counter. You even may get to know the other patrons at the library. Whenever I go to our local library I am greeted by employees who have gotten to know my family and I over the years and there is a sense of community in that.

It’s frugal. Taking out books is free. If you are looking for a cheap family activity, this is it! Activities for kids these days can be so costly and if you are like me, you are looking for serious ways to live on less these days. When you start using the library frequently your kids come to love it too, and what better fun for the kids then something that won’t break the bank?

It builds responsibility.  A library card is a great way to teach kids the value of being trusted with taking care of things.  Buidling responsibility in our kids while they are young will help them as they grow.

Access to the Internet. Many libraries have free Wifi and computers connected to the internet. With those options it is a great place to get some quiet work done for yourself, or any homework your kids may need to do in an atmosphere that offers a studious environment.

It is full of reliable resources for research.  The Internet is an amazing place, but most people know that there are a ton of unreliable resources online.  When you go to the library you can trust that the resources are quality information with a better chance of being accurate.

You can borrow cds and movies. Libraries aren’t just a place to check out books. You can also checkout Cds, DVDs, and in some cases VHS. Our family was sure to borrow some Christmas movies this past year since we don’t have cable or satellite. It was a great way to still watch some of the holiday classics without paying a bunch of money.

They offer printing services. Need something printed off the computer or photocopied? Many libraries offer these services for a small fee.

There is “Story” time. When my kids were younger we always enjoyed staying busy. Story time at the library is a perfect way to get you out of the house with your little ones and keep them entertained!

There are magazines and newspapers to read. Sometimes it’s nice to take in a good old-fashioned newspaper or magazine. There is something about the smell of those pages that make you feel relaxed.

They have information on history. Most libraries have a genealogy department. If you are looking for some history on the community you live in, the library is the place to go looking for it.

Librarians are super smart and helpful people. Looking for a book? They’ll help you find it. Need suggestions of what to read? They’ll offer you ideas to fit your needs. Trying to get your little one to read more? They’ll give you ideas on how to do that.

It’s a quiet space. Do you need some down time? Do you just need to get out of the house and find a place that is quiet? The library is the perfect place for that, and many have insanely comfortable chairs. It’s a great place to go and pull out a book or magazine or newspaper, find one of their chairs in the corner, and hide yourself away from the world for a little while.


The library is full of amazing resources. If you haven’t made a trip to the library recently, you definitely should.

Every once in awhile in a conversation with someone I will discover that they used to use the library at one time, but they either lost a book or have racked up such huge late fees that they are embarrassed to go back in.

If that is you, I would say to go in to your local library and just talk to your librarian. Explain the situation. More often than not they will usually work with you to find a solution. Librarians are usually book lovers as well and they love to see others using the library and if they can work with you to figure out how you can pay your fines or replace a lost book, they usually will.

Take it from someone who has been there with high fines – a lot of us have been there and you are not alone. 🙂 So don’t let that discourage you from paying down your fine and using the library again!

Of course, I couldn’t write a post about all the positives of using the library without sharing some of our family’s favorite books!


*This post contains affiliate links.  Please see our full disclosure policy HERE.

Books for kids:

Imagination Station, by Marianne Hering – These are good for probably grades 5 and up. These books are based on the christian audio broadcast, Adventures in Odyssey.

Grandma’s Attic, by Arleta Richardson – This is a new series my 11 year old daughter has just tried out this year and she absolutely loved them. The stories in these books are all about life in simpler times.

The Cul-de-Sac Kids, by Beverley Lewis – This is a great series for kids just starting chapter books.

The Magic Treehouse, by Mary Pope Osborne – Again, this is another great series for new chapter book readers.

How to Train your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell – This series is based on the movie and well-loved here.

Clarice Bean series, by Lauren Child – This is a good series for ages 8-11, and tends to be favored more by girls than boys.

National Geographic Bet You Didn’t Know – These books are great for those who have kids that you would like to encourage to read more but they don’t seem to enjoy chapter books. My son loves these books full of facts and pictures. They are pretty big books so it provides hours of reading!

Lego Playbook – Ideas to Bring your Bricks to Life, by Daniel Lipkowitz – This book is great to encourage kids to build things from Lego based on instructions in the book. I think my kids have taken this book out multiple times they love it so much!

Books for adults:

The Backyard Homestead – This is the first book in a series and is absolutely great for people new to homesteading, whether on a small or larger lot.

The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczen ( I think I took this one out from the library about 4 times before I finally caved and bought my own copy!)

Girl, Wash your Face, by Rachel Hollis – A great motivational book for those who need an extra kick in the pants to reach their goals. This book is quite popular right now so I’m sure you’ve probably already heard of it. 🙂

Amish series by Beverley Lewis – While I rarely read fiction, when I do get the chance I love the Amish fiction books. Beverley Lewis has written so many good ones.


Picking up a book is one of those activities that you never find yourself saying, “well, I wish I had never spent time reading.” Usually we don’t feel like it is wasted time. When we read we often feel that we’ve done something that is good for us.

The library is a place that can benefit your whole family. If you haven’t been for awhile why not make a point to go again? You won’t be bored or disappointed. Make a point to go to the library this week and get lost in a book or two.  If it’s winter curl up on an armchair under a blanket with a hot drink and a book, or if it’s summer lounge around in a hammock as you read the afternoon away!

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3 thoughts on “19 reasons why you should go to the library”.

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We love the local library! Library day is always a highlight of our week. And I agee, often the most quiet as the kids sort the the new pile of books. I often unsuspectingly throw in a good history, cooking ,or greography book into the kids checkout pile and enjoy watching them read them all and learn something to boot.

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Hmm…I should sneakily throw in an extra book in their pile from now on. So smart!

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libraries play a vital role in ensuring that children get used to library materials and they develop courage to stand infront of their friends to read stories as we help to spell some words they are unable to pronounce, yet they are a good team to work with, some are keen to read every source they come across. what is important is that they develop love of visiting the library read and learn, Enock (RSA)

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Essay on Library and Its Uses for Students and Children

500 words essay on library and its uses.

A library is a place where books and sources of information are stored. They make it easier for people to get access to them for various purposes. Libraries are very helpful and economical too. They include books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, manuscripts and more. In other words, they are an all-encompassing source of information.

Essay on Library and Its Uses

A public library is open to everyone for fulfilling the need for information. They are run by the government, schools , colleges, and universities. The members of the society or community can visit these libraries to enhance their knowledge and complete their research.

Importance of Libraries

Libraries play a vital role in providing people with reliable content. They encourage and promote the process of learning and grasping knowledge. The book worms can get loads of books to read from and enhance their knowledge. Moreover, the variety is so wide-ranging that one mostly gets what they are looking for.

Furthermore, they help the people to get their hands on great educational material which they might not find otherwise in the market. When we read more, our social skills and academic performance improves.

Most importantly, libraries are a great platform for making progress. When we get homework in class, the libraries help us with the reference material. This, in turn, progresses our learning capabilities and knowledge. It is also helpful in our overall development.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Uses of Library

A library is a very useful platform that brings together people willing to learn. It helps us in learning and expanding our knowledge. We develop our reading habits from a library and satisfy our thirst and curiosity for knowledge. This helps in the personal growth of a person and development.

Similarly, libraries provide authentic and reliable sources of information for researchers. They are able to complete their papers and carry out their studies using the material present in a library. Furthermore, libraries are a great place for studying alone or even in groups, without any disturbance.

Moreover, libraries also help in increasing our concentration levels. As it is a place that requires pin drop silence, a person can study or read in silence. It makes us focus on our studies more efficiently. Libraries also broaden our thinking and make us more open to modern thinking.

Most importantly, libraries are very economical. The people who cannot afford to buy new books and can simply borrow books from a library. This helps them in saving a lot of money and getting information for free.

In short, libraries are a great place to gain knowledge. They serve each person differently. They are a great source of learning and promoting the progress of knowledge. One can enjoy their free time in libraries by reading and researching. As the world has become digitized, it is now easier to browse through a library and get what you are looking for. Libraries also provide employment opportunities to people with fair pay and incredible working conditions.

Thus, libraries help all, the ones visiting it and the ones employed there. We must not give up on libraries due to the digital age. Nothing can ever replace the authenticity and reliability one gets from a library.

FAQs on Library and Its Uses

Q.1 Why are libraries important?

A.1 Libraries help in the overall development of a person. They provide us with educational material and help enhance our knowledge.

Q.2 State some uses of the library.

A.2 A library is a great platform which helps us in various things. We get the reference material for our homework. Research scholars get reliable content for their papers. They increase our concentration levels as we read there in peace.

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The Top 10 Reasons to Be a Librarian

(with apologies to David Letterman)

By Martha J. Spear

confused man at computer reads the journal of obfuscation online

As a high school library media specialist, I have the good fortune to work with, and sometimes mold, young people. If I’m lucky, I discover what they do after graduation. Recently, one of my favorite students informed me that after earning her humanities degree at a tiny private college, she was pursuing a master’s degree in museum studies. Congratulating her, I jokingly said, “Watch it. That’s awfully close to a master’s in library science.” She laughed and said: “Oh, I’d never do that.” Somewhat defensively, I replied, “You could do worse.”

Long after this brief conversation, I wondered, where did we, as librarians, go wrong? Why is there such an onus on this profession that a bright, young person would choose, well, any career but that of librarianship? I think it’s sad. Librarianship has much to offer, and I think we can do better in promoting our profession. Toward that end, I present my top 10 reasons for being a librarian.

number ten on baby-blue book cover

The single thing I like most about being a librarian is that it is, to paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, a moveable feast. I’ve been employed in academic, public, and school libraries in three different states working in technical services, public services, and classrooms, and with street people, teachers, and young adults. I’ve booked psychics, mountain climbers, rock musicians, and landlords for programs. I teach, catalog, book talk, advise, troubleshoot, demonstrate, connect s-video cables, and shelve . . . in a single day. What I learned in my master’s program bears little resemblance to what I actually do in my library today. Yet the principles remain; and, through conferences, professional literature, and networking, I hold my own. If the new books don’t excite me, the new technologies do. Most importantly, I learn something new every day. Can you say that about working at McDonald’s?

number nine on a pink book cover

Okay, so I may be stretching things a bit here. I married a librarian. (For the record, we met in a singles group; but our paths would have crossed in local library circles eventually, I’m sure.) My case may be extreme, but there is help for the lovelorn in libraries—either in the wonderfully interesting colleagues we meet (see reasons #2 and #7) or in the books and resources libraries offer.

number eight on baby-blue book cover

I did not enter library school with a soaring heart. I viewed the degree less as graduate school and more as a kind of trade school. Truthfully, my library education was both. I learned the value of organization (I finally put my massive LP collection in alpha order by artist). I discovered the importance of collection development, equal access to resources, and intellectual freedom. I learned valuable skills in locating and using information that serve me to this day, whether I’m helping a patron write a paper on the Manhattan Project or figuring out the best place to buy a teakettle online.

number seven on light-green book cover

Librarians host good conferences. I love the hustle and bustle of ALA Annual Conference. I consider my state conference to be so necessary to my mental well-being that I often pay my own way. My husband’s ties to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions have taken us to Nairobi, Tokyo, Havana, and elsewhere. What better way to see the world and recharge the professional batteries? Conferences are blessed events, and you don’t have them when you work at Wal-Mart.

number six on a book cover

Librarians may not get great pay, but we do generally receive liberal vacations. As a public librarian, I got six weeks off and as a school media specialist . . . well, you don’t want to know. In any case, these vacations have made it possible to visit Paris in April, and Beijing in September, and to spend five weeks in Scandinavia. And when I’m not away, I’ve been able to repaper my hallway, paint the family room, and put in a patio.

number five on a book cover

As a child, when people asked me what I wanted to be, I have to admit I never said librarian. Although I used and enjoyed libraries, it never occurred to me to actually work in one. I did say that I wanted a job with scope. I am not sure what I meant by that then, but I know what it means now. It means being a librarian. I do dozens of different things every day. It’s not a desk job and it’s anything but routine. When you work with people, changing technologies, and always-new resources, how could it be?

number four on baby-blue book cover

As a librarian, I will never get rich. However, it has allowed me to live alone (without the dreaded roommate), subsist moderately well, and be employable in different markets and in changing times. I have made a living as a librarian for almost 25 years and I’m not on the street corner selling pencils yet.

number three on a book cover

I’ve worked in factories where I stood on my feet for nine hours. I’ve worked in kitchens where I came home smelling of puréed peas. I was a production typist where my derrière routinely fell asleep, not to mention my brain. In a library, you’re clean, dry, warm, and working with people who are generally happy to be there.

number two on a book cover

I love librarians (also see # 9). We are intelligent, cultured, well-read people who bring a myriad of skills, backgrounds, and interests to the job. Most of my fellow librarians, myself included, have degrees and/or work experience in other areas. I backed into librarianship after realizing that a major in English and German wasn’t going to make me very employable. I know librarians who are former attorneys, truck drivers, teachers, and factory workers. This experiential, intellectual potpourri makes for an interesting mix. And librarians are readers. The conversational gambit “Read any good books lately?” is met with a din around librarians.

number one on a book cover

As librarians, we support the freedom to read. We champion the right to access information for all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, or economic disposition. Libraries are everyone’s university. These may feel like clich‚s to the converted (us librarians), but they remain truisms.

In sum, I feel very much like Evelyn Carnahan in the film The Mummy. To refresh your memory, our leading lady is in the midst of describing—and defending—what she does for a living to a roguish male. They have been drinking.

Evelyn: Look, I—I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell! But I am proud of what I am!

Rick O’Connell: And what is that?

Evelyn: I am . . . a librarian!

I couldn’t have said it better.

This article originally appeared in American Libraries, October 2002, p. 54–55.

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why i love the library essay

50 Reasons to Love the Library

By lorrie bodger.


1. Open Stacks The NYSL houses most of its impressive collection of books in open stacks that you may browse to your heart’s content. Discover every book your favorite author has written, explore a topic that fascinates you, stumble upon a shelf of just about anything. The open stacks are full of surprises.

2. The Members’ Room Consider this your own private club, complete with couches and armchairs, small desks and lamps, huge windows, and a handsome fireplace. Silent reading and study prevail (no laptops allowed here), and you can catch up on current newspapers, magazines, and literary journals as well.

Members' Room

4. NYSOCLIB.ORG The website is your gateway to taking full advantage of all the Library has to offer. For example: Go to the Home page, click on the Marginalia tab—and bingo! Book recommendations, upcoming events, and the always-interesting blog.

5. Long Hours In January 2015 the Library hours were extended significantly: Monday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM; weekends from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. And that includes the entire summer.

6. The Whitridge Room A singular room, in the best sort of way. When it’s not in use for events or meetings, you can read comfortably on the couch or armchairs or work on your computer at the big table. If the Members’ Room is a large living room, the Whitridge Room is a small parlor.

Whitridge Room

7. Online Catalog Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. The amazing OC will lead you to whatever books you need or want—search by title, author, subject, or even keyword.

8. Readers’ Advisory Mia D’Avanza, Head of Circulation, says, “We have a uniquely engaged Library staff. We get to know the tastes of our members and we learn what they like to read.” Need a book recommendation ? Ask a staffer.

9. Internet Access Bring your computer and get online throughout the Library. There are only two exceptions: the Reference Room on the first floor and the Members’ Room on the second floor.

10. Audiobooks The NYSL has lots of them. The newest acquisitions are near the Circulation Desk; the older ones are in Stack 9.

11. E-Books The NYSL offers abundant e-books for free downloading through the 3M Cloud Library . Classics, best-sellers, fiction, nonfiction—get the app and get portable. There’s an instruction sheet at the Circ Desk and a pdf guide online . (Having trouble installing the app? Ask for help at the Circ Desk.)

12. The Hornblower Room This hushed fifth-floor oasis is a haven for anyone who wants to concentrate on writing, research, or even homework—in the company of (unintrusive) others. The room was completely refurbished in 2010 with Aeron chairs, handsome tables, good lighting, and plenty of outlets for computers.

Hornblower Room

13. Databases and Other Electronic Resources On the website’s Home page , right below the Search function, you’ll see a small line of type: 3M E-books | JSTOR | Project MUSE | OED | All Electronic Resources . Clicking on any of these headings (especially the last one) takes you to complete information about the many databases and other electronic resources available to all members. Art, biographies, book reviews, newspapers, scholarly journals—a world of reference at your fingertips.

14. Comfort Stations The restrooms in the Library are very, very nice: super-clean, bright, well-supplied, and private. If you’re spending any time at all in the Library, you’ll appreciate them in a big way.

15. Nooks and Crannies Tucked away among the open stacks are small desks, with lamps, where you can hide out if you don’t feel like using one of the more conventional rooms.

Stack Desk

16. Online and Telephone Renewals Not quite finished reading that 853-page historical novel? You can renew a book at the Circulation Desk or by phone, but you can also renew on the website: Log in, go to My Tab, and open Current Checkouts. See that Renew heading on the left? Check the box beside your book and, if no one else is waiting for it, you’ll be able to renew it right there.

17. The Four Thousand Steve McGuirl, Head of Acquisitions, says, “The Library is not a museum—it’s a growing collection.” He should know: he oversees the addition of 4,000 books (or titles, in library-speak) to the NYSL every year.

18. Books by Mail If you can’t get to the Library, the NYSL has a mail service for you. Open a postage account and the Library will send you the books you want. For details, ask at the Circ Desk about the Books by Mail Policy or read about it online .

19. The Front Doors They’re automatic. Give them a little push (or pull) and they glide open with no help from you. Very useful when your arms are full of books. And the short flight of stairs between the street-level doors and the Library proper is equipped with a Handi-Lift, making the NYSL fully accessible to all.

20. Book Funds Since 2008, generous members have established fourteen new book funds—so the NYSL has been able to expand its collections in many areas: performing arts, contemporary fiction, fine arts, ancient culture, mysteries, poetry, and more.

21. What’s New? Want to know what new books have been acquired? Pick up a New Books leaflet from the display at the Circ Desk, or view the list on the website .

22. Raising Readers The Children’s Library is so varied (9,500 titles!) and has so many events, activities, and services for kids and families that it’s in a category all its own. Coming soon: 50 Reasons to Love the Children’s Library. Look for it in a future edition of Books & People.

23. The Little Table in the Lobby It’s over by the reference desk, at the foot of the stairs: a sort of mini-exhibit of books relevant to something newsworthy, seasonal, or quirky, chosen by staff. That little table is one of my favorite Library perks. It represents what I love most about the NYSL: resources, discovery, sharing, and welcome.

Lobby Table

24. Your Private Reading History Can’t remember the name of that terrific mystery you read two years ago? Go to the Home page , log in, click My Tab, and look for My Reading History. Every book you’ve ever taken out of the Library is listed there, and no one sees that list but you—it’s private.

25. Reserving a Book via the Website Easy: Log in and go to My Tab. Under Patron Record, hit Search Catalog. Look up the book you want. If it’s already out on loan, hit Request, add date parameters if you like, hit Submit, and that’s that. You’ll be notified by e-mail when the book is waiting for you.

26. Reserving a Book at the Circ Desk Also easy: If the book you want is out on loan, ask the Circ Desk assistant to put your name on the waiting list. Same deal: When it’s your turn you’ll get an e-mail notice—and a week to pick it up.

27. The Writing Life From Washington (Irving) to Willa (Cather) to Wendy (Wasserstein), the Library has been a good friend to writers. Writing Life Daytime Talks focus on topics of special interest to writers; writing workshops are for writers who want to improve their skills; once-a-month writing groups are for experienced writers; evening readings give writers an audience for their work. Check the website for more information and for the calendar of writing-related events and programs .

28. Individual Study Rooms If you want to be on the fifth floor with other writers and researchers but you prefer to work in seclusion, reserve one of the six study rooms (easy to do by phone or at the Circ Desk). Same great chairs, tables, lighting, and outlets, but complete privacy—including locks on the doors.

29. Evening Events These amazing book-related lectures and panels are for members—and friends. They’re held in the Members’ Room and they’re open to the public, so bring your nonmember friends or let them know about events they’d enjoy even if you can’t get to them yourself. Read about upcoming events in the newsletter or the online calendar .

Joan Breton Connelly speaks in the Members' Room, 2014

30. Autographs At each book-related evening event the NYSL sets up a book table just outside the Members’ Room. Buy the book-of-the-evening and take it right up to the author for signing.

31. Rare Treasures Laura O’Keefe, Head of Cataloguing and Special Collections says, “There’s more to us than just the latest novels.” The Library is proud to own an astonishing array of rare books that are carefully conserved and protected—and available for research.


34. The Skylight Joan Zimmett, Director of Development, loves the beautiful leaded skylight above the graceful main staircase. The skylight was revealed and restored in 2010 thanks to the generous support of Ada and Romano Peluso.

35. Climate Control Warm in winter, cool in summer; umbrella rack for rainy days; coat closet for your outerwear.

36. Terminals and Loaners There are computer terminals scattered throughout the Library, for your convenience when you need to do a bit of quick reference. And the Library has netbook laptops that you may check out for the day and use on-site; ask about them at the Circ Desk.

37. Lock It Up On the fifth floor there are first-come, first-served lockers for members to use. If you need to stash your stuff during a day, ask for a key at the Circ Desk. If you need a locker for up to six months, fill out an application at the Circ Desk; your name will go onto the waiting list.

38. Water, Water Thirsty? There’s a water cooler—with paper cups—on the main floor. Or bring your own water (water only) and sip as you work or read anywhere in the Library.

39. No Cell Phones I know, I know, it takes a little getting used to, but you’ll learn to love it. No ringing = no interruptions. No ringing = no distractions from the Joy of Library.

40. Riches Mia D’Avanza, Head of Circulation, loves the fiction stacks: “They’re so tall that they give you a feeling of being immersed in a wealth of books.” There are rolling safety steps to help you reach the highest shelves.

41. The Pleasure of His Company Sara Holliday, Events Coordinator, loves the Green Alcove at the far end of Stack 12. It’s a snug, sheltered workspace, and when you’re sitting at the desk Mr. John Cleve Green (1800-1875) will be looking over your shoulder. In portrait.

Green Alcove

42. Tech Workshops Though it values the past, the Library does not live in the past. Technology workshops are offered regularly. In the spring of 2015 there was, for instance, a workshop on podcasts. Past workshop topics: iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Gmail, buying a new computer, keeping your PC free of viruses.

43. Interlibrary Loans The NYSL participates in a cooperative interlibrary loan system that gives members access to books, articles, and even microfilm from other US libraries. More info on the website.

44. Tracking Your Checked-Out Books Good job, you’ve stacked up the four books that have to go back to the Library and you’ve put them by the door. But wait—did you have four books out or five? Log in at the NYSL website, go to Home page > My Tab> Current Checkouts to find the answer.

45. Members’ Suggestion Box You see a glowing review of a new book that you’d love to read. You look it up in the NYSL’s online catalog—but it’s not there. Log in, go to For Members, click on Suggest a Purchase, and fill out the form. Acquisitions will consider your request and, if it looks like a book the Library should have, they’ll order it and you’ll be first on the list to read it.

46. Reading Groups There’s a Trollope group, a Fitzgerald group, and a slew of others—some long-running, some short-term. Check the website or the newsletter to find (your) like-minded readers.

47. City Readers That’s the name of the Library’s new digital reference work, in which you can “Explore more than 100,000 records of books, readers, and borrowing history from the New York Society Library’s Special Collections.” Fact: In November and December of 1789, Anthony L. Bleecker (namesake of the street I lived on for thirty years) was reading A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World by Captain James Cook.

48. Periodicals The Library subscribes to more than 100 newspapers, popular and specialized magazines, and literary journals. In the Members’ Room you can read the latest issues; Stack 11 is the home of most back issues and all sorts of old, unusual, or scholarly magazines. (Stack 11 even has a microfilm reader.)

49. Card Catalog Carolyn Waters, Head Librarian, uses the online catalog for speed and efficiency, but she loves the old card catalog that lives in the Reference Room on the main floor—because it reminds her of childhood libraries.

Card Catalog

50. Rare Librarians You may have grown up thinking of librarians as Stern Guardians of the Books, but our librarians are nothing like that. Our librarians definitely want to help you have a great experience with every aspect of the NYSL.

Lorrie Bodger, author of more than thirty nonfiction books, also edits, teaches, and writes fiction.

The New York Society Library

53 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075 212.288.6900 [email protected]

why i love the library essay

Hours of Operation

Holiday closing: memorial day.

books on nicole's shelf

Why I Want to Become a Librarian

Today’s post was written by Nicole Murph, reference assistant at the William H. Hannon Library.

In December 2021, I completed my coursework at San Jose State University (SJSU) and received my master’s in library and information science (MLIS) degree. I went back to school to obtain my MLIS degree because I want to be a librarian.

I did not realize I wanted to become a librarian until my late thirties. In early 2019, while I was on the Expo train heading into work, I came across an article series, “ Love Your Library: Library Appreciation Week ”, and the thought of becoming a librarian stuck with me. So, I did some general research on librarianship. I appreciated the forward-thinking mindset, focus on the community, and the humanness incorporated in the work, research, and writing. While working at LMU, I already had a couple of professional relationships with colleagues at the William H. Hannon Library through my service work (i.e., Staff Senate), collaborations (i.e., outreach events), and library-based groups (Iggy’s Yarnsters, a knit and crochet group). I met with the dean of the library, Kristine Brancolini, to learn more about librarianship and the education involved. Would this be the right fit for me and if so, is it possible for me to make this career transition?

Our meeting confirmed my initial feelings but it also became clear to me how my cumulative experiences, professionally and personally, finally fell into place. I learned that my first master’s degree in history (California State University, Northridge) could be utilized because having a subject degree coupled with the MLIS degree is an increasing need in the field. In addition, I am mission-driven and want my work to be mentally stimulating and have an impact. Prior to this realization, I had spent the past 10+ years trying to figure out what I wanted in a career and what path to take next. Immediately after my meeting with the dean, I applied for the MLIS program at SJSU.

I am an LMU alum. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in history in 2004. I’ve been working at LMU since 2012. The first seven years I worked for the Department of Art & Art History in the College of Fine Arts & Communication (CFA). I worked with students, faculty, and staff and created and produced the department’s KaleidoLA Speaker Series . In January 2020, I began working for the William H. Hannon Library as a Reference Assistant. I assist the reference librarians with administrative duties and manage the Information Commons including the Information Desk located on the first floor. When it comes to service, since 2012, I have been actively involved in unit-level and university-level committees and task forces, Staff Senate, and staff affinity groups (i.e., Black Faculty & Staff Association and the Latinx Staff Association). My experiences overall have provided me with a three-dimensional view of LMU and academia overall, which I bring with me in my work at the library. Along with my educational experiences at LMU and CSUN, these experiences informed my studies with real world experiences and vice versa.

People are surprised when they learn about the work a librarian does as well as the work of a library’s paraprofessional staff, such as myself. The work involved in a library’s operations is comprehensive, especially behind the scenes, as Dean Brancolini wrote in “ Dean’s Notes: Kristine Brancolini – ‘Invisible Labor in Libraries ’. This applies to any library, and there are different types: academic libraries (e.g., William H. Hannon Library), public libraries (e.g., Los Angeles County Public Library), school libraries (e.g., K-12 libraries), and specialized libraries (e.g., Getty Research Institute Research Library).

The public may or may not realize it but librarians are teachers. For example, in an academic library setting, the librarians teach information literacy and digital literacy skills to students. Students familiarize themselves with the library’s resources, learn how to search for information using databases, and determine the quality of the sources they find. Given the amount of information we are receiving, the misinformation and disinformation affecting us, and advancing technologies, learning these literacies are important: a lifelong set of skills essential to community life beyond the classroom. It is also one of the cornerstones of a democracy: an informed citizenry. I believe the need for teaching all forms of literacies should start at a young age. In a university setting, library instruction (i.e., digital and information literacies) should be embedded in the university’s curriculum rather looked upon as a consideration or an option.

As a hopeful librarian, I want to teach. Beginning in spring 2020, I started to gain teaching experience, and continue to do so, working alongside reference librarians teaching Rhetorical Arts classes and workshops such as the Digital Citizenship Workshop Series (“Raising the Bar: Understanding Data Visualization”) . The community I want to connect with are non-traditional students such as adult learners, commuter students, international students, and first-generation students. I am an Afro-Latina who did not come from an affluent family. As an LMU undergrad, I was a commuter student who was the first in my family to go to college. When I attended CSUN for my first master degree, I was again a commuter student working simultaneously both a full-time job and a part-time job. For my MLIS degree, I selected an online program because of its flexibility for a commuter who is working full-time and supporting their family. As a non-traditional student, I can relate.

Now that I am done with school, I continue to learn about librarianship and developing my own niche in the field as I grow, professionally. I also hope to get involve in adult literacy (which too is comprehensive) such as volunteering at the Los Angeles Public Library’s (LAPL) adult literacy program . Volunteers are trained and teach adults how to read and write, how to vote, look for a job, and use a computer. All of which, plus more, is so individuals can ultimately have the opportunities to participate and be part of the community.

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why i love the library essay

Friday essay: why libraries can and must change

why i love the library essay

Associate Professor in Media, University of Notre Dame Australia

Disclosure statement

Camilla Nelson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The University of Notre Dame Australia provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

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There is a chapter towards the end of Stuart Kells’s The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders , in which the author envisions the library of the future as one in which “dreary hordes of students” stare mindlessly at “computers and reading machines”, ignorant of the more refined pleasures of paper and ink, vellum and leather.

This – the death of the book – is a familiar lament recounted by bibliophiles everywhere; a tragic epic in which the Goliath of technology slays the David of art and culture.

It may be superficially appealing to some. And yet, it misses the reality that writing itself is also a technology. Along with the wheel and the lever, it is one of the greatest technologies ever invented. The history of writing predates the invention of the book. It parallels and is a part of the history of other technological forms.

The history of the library is replete with mechanical marvels.

why i love the library essay

Take, for example, the book wheel , the scholar’s technology of the 16th century, an ingenious mechanical device operated by foot or hand controls, allowing a reader to move backwards and forwards across editions and volumes, referencing many different books as quickly possible.

Closer to our own century, there’s the Book Railways of the Boston Public Library installed in 1895, with tracks laid around every level of the stack to transport books. Or the ultra-modern teletype machine and conveyor belt used to convey book requests by the Free Library of Philadelphia in 1927. Or the current book retrieval system used at the University of Chicago, which boasts a system of robotic cranes .

Unlike Kells, I think there is a fabulous quality to the dream of an infinite library that can assemble itself in bits and bytes wherever a reader calls it into being. It sits well with the democratic dream of mass literacy.

It may well take an archaeologist – working a thousand years from now – a lifetime to unlock the data in our already defunct floppy discs and CD Roms. Then again, it took several hundred years of patient work before Jean-François Champollion deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822, and even longer for Henry Rawlinson to unlock the secrets of the cuneiform scripts of ancient Mesopotamia.

Of course, Kells’s new book is not a history of reading or writing. It is a history of books as artefacts. It tells of books of doubtful or impeccable provenance, discovered in lost libraries or inaccessible private collections, purloined by book thieves, or crazed and nefarious book collectors, or at the behest of rich or royal patrons. It is a narrative – albeit with an unfortunate, cobbled together quality – brimming with strange anecdotes about a small handful of books owned by a small handful of people; lost books yielding strange surprises, from discarded condoms to misplaced dental appointment slips.

Kells’s favoured haunts are the chained libraries of medieval monks, and the bawdy or scandalous collections of wealthy 18th century patrons. The library of St Gall , for example, which houses one of the largest medieval collections in the world. Or the Bodleian at Oxford, which was never intended to be an inclusive collection, but rather, as its founder Thomas Bodley put it, sought to exclude “almanackes, plaies, and an infinit number” of other “unworthy matters” which he designated “baggage bookes” and “riff-raffe”.

why i love the library essay

I am a great lover of books. I have been lucky enough to while away the hours in libraries from Beijing to St Petersburg, Belgrade and Buenos Aires. But in an age of economic disparity and privatised public services – of pay walls, firewalls and proprietary media platforms, not to mention Google and Amazon – it is difficult to feel convinced by this bibliophile’s nostalgic reveries.

Embodying an idea of society

More than 20 years ago, when I was living in New York, eking out a living as a copyeditor and more often as a waitress, I became a regular at the 42nd Street Library (also known as the New York Public Library), on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, a few blocks from the apartment that I shared in Midtown.

It was not just the size of the collection that drew me in – the 120 kilometres of bookshelves housing one of the largest collections in the world – or the ornate ceilings of the main reading room, which ran the length of a city block, with 42 oak tables for 636 readers, the bookish dimness interrupted by the quiet glow of reading lamps. I was fascinated by the library’s pneumatic system .

This labyrinthine contraption, which had been state-of-the-art around the dawn of the 20th century, sent call slips flying up and around through brass tubes descending deep underground – down seven stories of steel-reinforced book stacks where the book was found, then sent up on an oval shaped conveyor belt to arrive in the reading room.

The pneumatic system – with its air of retro, steampunk or defunct book technology – seemed to intimate the dream of a future that had been discarded, or, at least, never actually arrived. Libraries are not just collections of books, but social, cultural and technological institutions. They house not only books but also the idea of a society.

why i love the library essay

The predecessors of the New York Public Library, the Carnegie libraries of the 1880s, were not just book stacks but also community centres with public baths, bowling alleys, billiard rooms, and in at least one strange instance – at the Allegheny library in Pittsburgh – a rifle range in the basement.

Earlier in the 18th century, with the rise of industrial printing technologies and the spread of mass literacy, not only libraries but as many as a thousand book clubs sprang up through Europe. They were highly social, if occasionally rowdy places, offering a space not only for men but also women to gather. Monthly dinners were a common feature. Book club rules included penalties for drunkenness and swearing.

So too, the fabled Library of Alexandria – where Eratosthenes invented the discipline of geography and Archimedes calculated the accurate value of Pi – was not a collection of scrolls but a centre of innovation and learning. It was part of a larger museum with botanical gardens, laboratories, living quarters and lecture halls. Libraries are social places.

Lost libraries

Kells’s Catalogue of Wonders is at its best when it recounts the stories of these ancient libraries, charting the accidental trails of books, and therefore ideas, through processes of translating, pirating and appropriation. And the trades and technologies of papermaking that enabled them.

The library of the Pharaoh Ramses II in the second millennium BCE contained books of papyrus, palm leaves, bone, bark, ivory linen and stone. But “in other lands and other times,” Kells writes,

books would also be made from silk, gems, plastic, silicon, bamboo, hemp, rags, glass, grass, wood, wax, rubber, enamel, iron, copper, silver, gold, turtle shell, antlers, hair, rawhide and the intestines of elephants.

why i love the library essay

One sheep, he says, yields a single folio sheet. A bible requires 250. The Devil’s Bible , a large 13th-century manuscript from Bohemia, was made from the skin of 160 donkeys.

Ptolemy founded the Library of Alexandria around 300 BCE, on a spit of land between a lake and the man-made port of Pharos. He sent his agents far and wide with messages to kings and emperors, asking to borrow and copy books.

There are many stories about the dissolution of this library: that it was burnt by invading Roman soldiers or extremist Christians or a pagan revolt – or that a caliph ordered the books be burnt to heat the waters of the urban bathhouses. Or just as likely, as Kells points out, the scrolls, which were made of fragile papyrus, simply disintegrated.

But the knowledge contained in the scrolls never entirely disappeared. Even as the collection dissipated, a brisk trade in pirated scrolls copied out in a nearby merchant’s district ensured that the works eventually found their way to Greece and Constantinople, where other libraries would maintain them for another thousand years.

Destroyed collections

One thing that Kells fails to address in his book is the problems that arise when books are excluded, destroyed, censored and forgotten. And, indeed, when libraries are decimated.

Any list of destroyed libraries makes startling reading: The libraries of Constantinople sacked by the Crusaders, the Maya codices destroyed by Franciscan monks, the libraries of Beijing and Shanghai destroyed by occupying Japanese forces, the National Library of Serbia destroyed by the Nazi Luftwaffe, the Sikh Library of the Punjab destroyed at the behest of Indira Gandhi, the Library of Cambodia destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

More recently, thousands of priceless manuscripts were burnt in the Timbuktu library in Mali and rare books spanning centuries of human learning were burnt at the University of Mosul. Yet more book burnings have been conducted by ISIS, in a reign of cultural devastation that includes museums, archaeological sites, shrines and mosques.

There is also destruction for which the so called “Coalition of the Willing” must accept responsibility. Dr Saad Eskander, the Director of the Iraq National Library and Archive, reported the devastation of the library in a diary posted on the British Library website: archival materials 60% lost, rare books 95% lost, manuscripts 25% lost.

why i love the library essay

There may be something not quite right in mourning the death of books in a time of war, as people are dying. But the problem remains that without books and documents, the history of the world can be rewritten.

Indeed, as Iraqi librarians sought to preserve the bookish remains of their country in the still working freezer of a bombed out Iraqi officer’s club, the US military quietly airlifted the archives of the Baathist Secret Police out of the country.

These are the dark places where, as George Orwell once said, the clocks strike thirteen, and Kells does not go.

Of course, the great irony of censorship and book burning is that books are destroyed because it is believed that they are important, and they possess a certain power.

Libraries of the future

In the age of the globalisation of everything – and the privatisation of everything else – libraries can and must change. It is seldom discussed that one of the great destroyers of books are actually libraries themselves, bearing cost cuts, and space limitations. But this process can be ameliorated by companies such as Better World Books that divert library books from landfill, finding new owners and funding literacy initiatives – you can even choose a carbon neutral footprint at the checkout.

Libraries, by which I mean public libraries that are free, open and accessible, will not become extinct, even though they face new competition from the rise of private libraries and the Internet. Libraries will not turn into mausoleums and reliquaries, because they serve a civic function that extends well beyond the books they hold.

Libraries can and must change. Quiet study areas are being reduced, replaced not only by computer rooms but also by social areas that facilitate group discussions and convivial reading. There will be more books transferred to offsite storage, but there will also be more ingenious methods of getting these books back to readers.

There will be an emphasis on opening rare books collections to greater numbers of readers. There is and must be greater investment in digital collections. Your mobile phone will no longer be switched off in the library, but may well be the very thing that brings the library to you in your armchair.

The much heralded “death of the book” has nothing to do with the death of reading or writing. It is about a radical transformation in reading practices. New technologies are taking books and libraries to places that are, as yet, unimaginable. Where there will undoubtedly be new wonders to catalogue.

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Student Opinion

What Role Do Libraries Play in Your Life?

Do you use the library to borrow or download books? Connect to the internet? Find a quiet place to read, study or work?

An illustration of a shelf of books with an empty space in the middle, where a person looks out. Text reads: “You may think the library is a place only for books. Well, today you will learn it’s much more than just nooks.”

By Shannon Doyne

How often do you go to your school or local public library? What do you use it for?

The illustration at the top of this post reads: “You may think the library is a place only for books. Well, today you will learn it’s much more than just nooks.”

Have you ever attended children’s programming or other events at a library? Taken a class? Gone to check out books or other materials? Spent time in the quiet, studying, reading or working?

Two recent Times pieces show us the many resources, opportunities and spaces libraries have to offer. In an illustrated article, “ An Ode to the Public Library ,” Haruka Aoki writes about some of these things:

And in an Opinion essay, “ Thankful for Libraries ,” Charles M. Blow shares how vital these institutions have been for him:

But particularly for these kinds of people, living in rural areas, libraries can be an incredible tool. When I was a senior in high school, I won my way to the International Science and Engineering Fair. That year, 1988, it was being held in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the first time I would fly and the first time I would travel far from home. Determined not to expose myself as a hick, I went to the library in Arcadia and checked out every book of etiquette on the shelves. They were familiar to me, reference books, books of rules that in my mind were the only thing separating me from the appearance of refinement and sophistication. I devoured those books. I guess you could say that now, all that information can be found online, but high-speed broadband is not as ubiquitous as you might think. In 2019 the Pew Charitable Trusts explained that the number of Americans without broadband “could be over 163 million,” and that included 40 percent of schools and 44 percent of adults in households with incomes below $30,000.

He continues:

Again in college, it was in libraries that I found myself, not only physically but spiritually. It was in books in the college library that I first saw and read about openly queer people, that I first read about the Stonewall riots and the gay rights movement. The books were stored in a corner of the library that almost no one seemed to visit, but I went there often. In the stacks, I learned that my difference wasn’t anomalous. Up to that point, even in college, I had never met a person who was openly queer.

Students, read one or both of these pieces, then tell us:

What are your earliest memories of visiting a library? Who was with you? Did you borrow books? Do you remember any impressions of that visit?

Do you currently frequent the library at your school or in your neighborhood? If so, what do you do there? What do you like or dislike about the library? If you don’t visit libraries, what other spaces in your life serve the purposes described in these articles?

What role does reading play in your life? Has it changed over time? Do you read books outside of the classroom? If so, how do you obtain them? Do you borrow or download books from the library, buy them yourself or pass them around among family and friends?

Mr. Blow says that “it was in libraries that I found myself, not only physically but spiritually.” Have you ever had an experience in a library like the one he described? If so, what was it, and how has it affected your life?

Mr. Blow also writes, “In an era of increased book banning, library defunding and even bomb threats, it seems that now more than ever I ought to make clear how valuable and central libraries have been to my life and success.” Do you feel like libraries are under fire in your community? Have you witnessed or heard about book bans, budget cuts or threats of violence at your local library? What about at school? How, in your opinion, should situations like those be handled? Why?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.

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Five reasons why I love my library

There are loads of reasons why I love my library, but a few of the main reasons are listed below.

1. The books So, you're probably thinking - well, duh! That's the point of a library - to lend out books. But it's the selection of books that are there. I hang out in the YA section mostly, and I am so impressed by the different variety and all the genres that are available. Oh, and also by the fact that there are books in large print for those with dyslexia or a disability which impairs their reading and audio books. There literally is a book for everyone.

2. The atmosphere Some of my favorite books are those which make me feel like I'm living the story with the characters. And Matilda and Harry Potter, to name a few, are some characters who are seen throughout their stories in libraries. I like the feeling of being able to relate to them, and to experience what they experienced. Admittedly, I've never visited my library wearing an invisibility cloak, but I'm sure I'd love it just as much if I did. The bright lighting and the comfy sofas are irresistible...you just want to grab a thick paperback, curl up and start reading.

3. The fact that it's there Hardly any kids I know visit the library regularly - even I don't find time to go that often. It's actually considered embarrassing to be seen there by some groups, and I think some people are barely aware of their existence. I can't allow this to happen - I can't allow a culture like this continue. Why is it so embarrassing to like reading? I don't understand. I'm 13, I haven't started my GCSEs yet and so the reason kids my age aren't going to the library can't be because they are constantly studying (by the way, my library is a great place to study) or don't have the time. It's because they can just buy the book on their kindle. Or (it hurts to say this) because that precious weekend time can be used to make the weekly trip to Hollister or Jack Wills. I'm sorry, but that's just sickening. I am just so grateful that I have a library to go to, that it hasn't become extinct.

4. FREE BOOKS!!!! I'm not forking out pocket money for the new hardcover Percy Jackson or a new audiobook - it's all free! The only place where there isn't a catch, a little terms and conditions that says I pay a monthly fee, or a "mandatory donation" every time I visit. I can just hand my library card over (well, actually scan it, thanks to the new technology) and I've got a bagful of treats, ready to be devoured.

5. The people I live in a university city, and so there are always lots of students, studying their notes, or revising for exams and biting their nails. I've seen such fascinating characters, and some crazy fashion...! The librarians are always so lovely and helpful, plus you sometimes meet old classmates or teachers (which can be slightly awkward!) who you can catch up with. Then there are the adorable toddlers, who waddle everywhere, clawing at pages with pudgy hands, and giving you toothy smiles. Just seeing a couple of those grinning little babies is worth the trip to the library...they have the most sincere smiles in the world. The only age in which you truly love everyone.

I really hope this encourages you to visit your library, and maybe donate. Quickly, before libraries become like dinosaurs. Extinct.

Do you love your library? Tell us why! You could write a list or a poem, like Julia Donaldson , draw a picture, write a story or take a photo. Send your contribution to [email protected] and we'll add them to our Love your library page, celebrating libraries all over the world

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Why I Like Reading Books: a Narrative

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Words: 1014 |

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1014 | Pages: 2 | 6 min read

Table of contents

Why i like reading (essay), my favorite type of books, works cited.

  • Coleridge, S. T. (1817). Biographia Literaria: Or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions. Restless Books.
  • Lawrence, D. H. (2000). Lady Chatterley's Lover. Wordsworth Editions.
  • Maas, S. J. (2012). Throne of Glass. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Orwell, G. (1949). 1984. Secker & Warburg.
  • Shakespeare, W. (2008). The Merchant's Tale. In The Canterbury Tales (2nd ed., pp. 121-134). Penguin Classics.
  • Stowe, H. B. (1852). Uncle Tom's Cabin. J. P. Jewett and Company.
  • Tolkein, J. R. R. (2012). The Lord of the Rings. HarperCollins.
  • Tonnard, M., & Van Kesteren, E. (2007). Reading Ed Ruscha: Novels. Ludion.
  • Wells, H. G. (1932). Brave New World. Chatto & Windus.
  • Wood, J. (2014). The Theatre of Absurd. Bloomsbury Publishing.

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I Love Being a Librarian Because: Top Reasons Why Librarians Love Their Job

I love being a librarian because for me nothing is pleasanter than exploring a library.

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Why Are Libraries Important? We’ll Give You 5 Reasons

A birds-eye-view shows people working in long tables with green lamps inside a library.

What is “The Breakfast Club’s” timeless story without a school library? Who is Hermoine Granger without the magical stacks of books in the Hogwarts library? Where would “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” Paul Varjak tell Holly Golighty that he loves her — if not in the New York Public Library? 

Where does a community gather safely, find free and necessary resources, preserve the heart of a culture — without a library? 

You guessed it: I’m on my Dewey Decimal System soapbox. 

Libraries are at the crux of both social and physical American infrastructure; a crossroads where intellect and information meet space and access, a place where social services are actualized, and people are put above profit. 

However, our libraries are in dire need of funding, support, and maintenance.

How do libraries make money?

Most of us are aware that the literary world has changed dramatically in recent years, as the Amazon monopoly rears its many heads: bookselling, publishing, reading device development, and audiobook sales among them. Both independent booksellers and libraries have been impacted, even so far that books published under Amazon are not sold to libraries for folks to read for free. 

So, how do libraries even make money to operate? 

Public libraries are supported with state tax revenues, just like your local public school or road projects. Treated as a public good, libraries get a portion of this revenue to maintain their operations. However, this portion is often a very small percentage of the total tax revenue a state sees every year. 

For example, the Ohio Public Library reported that they received less than 1 percent of Ohio’s state tax revenue in 2020 (.53 percent, to be exact). In fact, the amount they received from the state was less than half of their total funding revenue.

This funding is crucial for more than just buying new books, but the upkeep of buildings, paying staff livable wages, providing ongoing community support and programming, and funding archival research and projects. The San Diego Library Master Plan framework outlines a $50 million library maintenance backlog . 

This deficit leaves many public library boards to do what they do best: get creative.

Many libraries will keep all operations free to patrons, but will charge late fees or book fines. This practice, however, is becoming less common, as libraries work to best serve low-income communities . 

Libraries also offer other “paid-for” services, as well as read-a-thon events, summer camps, book signings, book sales, or rentable spaces like conference rooms. 

Strategic partnerships and corporate sponsorships also allow libraries to raise funds, but as staff and board members struggle to maintain the integrity of their library systems,  the clear solution altogether is to prioritize government funding for libraries. 

How many libraries are in the United States?

There are over 16,000 public libraries in the United States , according to the American Library Association. 

While this may seem like a lot (there are more public libraries in America than McDonald’s or Starbucks restaurants!) the U.S. is 62nd on the list of countries with the most libraries per capita. 

These statistics indicate that, while libraries are plentiful (although perhaps not always spread out equitably), they are not prioritized or funded in the same way as other countries. 

This begs the question: do Americans truly not value their libraries, or do we just not know why they are so important? 

5 Reasons Libraries Are Important 

1. libraries support educational opportunities.

Libraries are commonly considered educational institutions, providing students and researchers the tools and resources they need to learn and study. 

In fact, libraries have long been dubbed “the people’s university,” for their equitable nature, bringing information and education to all people, regardless of socioeconomic status. 

Many of us envision our libraries full of books , encyclopedias, computers, and workspaces, but what we often neglect to include in that description is offerings like film and music, access to other learning avenues like local zoos or botanical gardens, 3D printers, WiFi hotspot lending programs, art lending programs , recording studios, or even blood pressure monitors . 

Libraries are not just spaces to borrow creative tools, but to make one’s own. Many institutions will hold writing workshops or other community events to teach patrons new skills or develop work in collaboration with other community members. Libraries have become spaces for people to set up a new podcast, write a zine , practice music, and more. 

Like the beloved cartoon aardvark Arthur Read says: “having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”

Educational opportunities also manifest through the encouragement of civil discourse and dialogue. The Human Library project, developed in Denmark, is an initiative that “publishes people as open books” and allows members of the public to meet and communicate with people outside of their communities. 

This initiative has gone global , and many American libraries participate in this social program to keep people from judging each other “by their covers.”

Libraries are also increasingly expanding access to digital resources . As of 2018, over 90 percent of libraries offered digital loans , and resources like Libby , OverDrive , and Hoopla make these loans even more accessible.

Although many of us cherish the “old book smell” of a historical library setting, it’s valuable to keep in mind that libraries are continuously evolving to meet the needs of learners of all backgrounds. 

2. Libraries preserve cultural heritage and history

A hallway shows a shelf of archives in a brightly lit room

Speaking of people from all walks of life, libraries play a key role in preserving the cultural heritage and history of their communities. 

While not all libraries have archival services, those with professional archivists give patrons access to valuable historical stories and records that add tremendous value and context to their people. 

Organized archives allow people to research genealogy and immigration history, do environmental research, find maps, digitize records, and more. 

The National Archives funds a number of archival research projects across the country. 

3. Libraries provide access to necessary resources for marginalized communities

Access to archival resources is only a small portion of what libraries do for marginalized communities. Libraries have long been institutions for social good, gathering members of a community together to fill a need or find solutions. 

One basic service of a library is providing helpful materials to diverse populations, assisting non-English speakers, immigrants, LGBTQ+ youth , and disabled community members.

From American Sign Language and English As A Second Language courses, to citizenship information, or an anti-prom that welcomes LBGTQ+ high schoolers, libraries serve as gateways to new and welcoming communities and give marginalized folks the tools they need to become empowered.

Resources often extend beyond educational materials and into direct action, as libraries across the country host free library lunches for kids in need, farmer’s markets , seed lending programs , and even tool lending libraries , to give patrons access to items they otherwise may not be able to afford. 

Youth are also able to utilize libraries in creative ways, benefiting from tutoring services, afterschool programming, homework help, outdoor learning initiatives , and summer reading programs. 

Libraries are community-centered in a way few other institutions are; helping folks rebuild after disaster, feed their families, start a business, or simply feel seen and included for who they are.

4. Libraries are integral to the political and social life of a community

Public life and political discourse has long been a value of America’s libraries, as these institutions proudly advocate against banned books , and develop special collections to support niche groups. Libraries are hubs for democratic debate, social justice, and community action.

For example, an initiative in Baltimore aims to raise collective consciousness to decrease crime in the area. Librarians are training to learn de-escalation practices as a non-police avenue to reduce violence, aiming to train all Baltimore city employees with the same tools. This, along with avenues like the Baltimore Community Mediation Center for community members to work through disputes, serve as a case study for the social and political landscape libraries offer. 

Libraries are also used as polling places or ballot drop-off locations during elections, and often offer voting guides or public debates and forums, encouraging civic engagement . 

Students may participate in workshops or mock elections, and many public libraries hold voter registration events for community members. The American Library Association says: “informed citizens are engaged voters.”

5. Libraries are a safe and reliable space for all

A young Black man in a white shirt and black pants talks to a young white girl with red hair and a gray sweater vest. They walk through the bookshelves in a library.

While we’ve examined how libraries offer specific resources and offerings, one of the most valuable things libraries contribute to their communities is space. 

While libraries are not substitutes for shelters, counseling centers, or long-term systemic solutions to homelessness, they are vital to public health and safety, offering people experiencing homelessness a safe and dignified space throughout the day. 

Libraries are also integral for unhoused folks to find empowerment, using computers to apply for jobs and seek further assistance. While some folks may be unable to get a library card due to a lack of a permanent address, more resources are becoming widely available as public libraries work on the frontlines of the housing crisis. 

In addition to serving patrons experiencing poverty and homelessness, libraries are simply safe and meaningful spaces for all members of the community. 

Whether a library boasts grand architecture or modest design, the physical space of a library has a way of communicating our underlying values, The Public Library Association suggests: that libraries, information, and shared community space matter.

Libraries are at the heart of American infrastructure. They deserve better.

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Why I Love Paperbacks

You don’t own a paperback; you have it for a little while and then it moves on with its life. The best you can do is help it find a good home.

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Growing up my parents didn’t have much, but what they did have—no matter where we lived—was a library.

Hand-me-down furniture, pots, pans, cutlery, and other kitchen miscellany found on our neighbors' stoops would come and go—discarded as easily as they were discovered—every time we moved. And we moved often.

But as wobbly chairs and half-functioning toasters were left behind on the street—perhaps for some other hapless family to obtain—we would lovingly pack milk crates filled with books into the bed of my father's old, blue, rusted-out Toyota pickup, like literature-filled mega-blocks or a real-life game of literary Tetris. The library was never left behind.

No wonder I started to view books as precious items. Pieces of magic, worthy of burden. To be carried from place to place, honored above all other earthly possessions. Here they were, hardcover classics: The Catcher in the Rye , Moby-Dick , Little Women , The Great Gatsby , and every Mark Twain book you can imagine. The Complete Works of Shakespeare (that one usually got its own milkcrate), The Bluest Eye , Don Quixote , and Things Fall Apart . At least one copy of every book by James Joyce—my father’s favorite—but then on to Austen, Brontë (take your pick), Tolstoy, Tolkien, Dostoevsky, Plath, Kesey, Kerouac, and a rather beautiful edition of Invisible Man . And that barely scratches the surface. Big, important, majestic hardcover books, moved from shitty apartment to shitty apartment, like royalty carried about town in a golden litter, albeit one with wheels and a gas tank my parents could only afford to fill a quarter-of-a-tank at a time. In one apartment, my father went so far as to build the books a throne, meticulously crafting shelves from wood, which he laid into the very walls of the building (a home improvement that would later cost us our security deposit). My parents didn't care. It was worth it. They had spent their entire lives collecting these books. What was money, something they never had much of anyway, versus a gleaming display for their life's work—collected and curated and painstakingly maintained?

Years later, when eBooks first appeared and "the end of print" was erroneously declared—visions of Kindle kiosks replacing beloved bookstores dancing in the heads of publishing executives and bean counters alike—I rested easy, remembering my parents’ library. Would they have traded in their gorgeous assemblage of classics for some beige, boring desktop computer? Not on your life. They valued books as bastions of knowledge and imagination, sure, but also, books as a point of pride, their spines on display as a way of saying, "Here. Have you read this? I have." Or, almost certainly more importantly, "Here. Have you read this? This is me." Book covers held out on public transportation, significantly, as if they were calling cards. "Does this interest you? It interests me. Do I interest you? I hope so."

To put it even more simplistically, books as fetish objects, to be collected and put on a pedestal like so many Pokémon.

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My parents instilled their all-consuming love of literature in me. Eventually, book by book, I too grew up and became a poor adult. Just as they had been.

Only I never had a library. My parents' tendency to move from apartment to apartment in the city we lived in (Boston) and eventually the state (Massachusetts) was also instilled in me, except I used the entire country to try and assuage my itchy feet. Washington D.C. Philadelphia. San Francisco. New York City. Usually making the move with nothing more than a bag over my shoulder, as I lacked even a rusted out old truck or any vehicle to speak of—no way of carrying a wealth of written knowledge by mostly dead people from place to place. But my obsession with moving, my obsession with impermanence, led to another obsession:

The paperback.

Credit where credit's due, my father introduced me to paperbacks early in life. There were children's books, of course, and a used, beat-up copy of The Hobbit my father read to me when I was young, but it was the Collected Works of Breece D'J Pancake —one of the first "adult" books he gave me, probably around the age of ten or eleven, that really made me fall in love with paperbacks. “Here, I think you’d like this,” he said. And he was right.

I would carry the book around with me, reading it while I waited for the school bus or in the back of math class, hiding it under my desk. Here was a book filled with stories that reminded me of my own life, that I could take with me anywhere. Nothing fantastical, or heavy, or overly important about it. Simply a book that I could grip in the palm of my adolescent hand, fingers tearing at the cover absentmindedly as I was enveloped in Breece’s stories.

I tend to be hard on my things. I still am. When I read a paperback book, it’s like I’m wrestling with it. Soon the cover is torn and the pages are dog-eared and there’s a giant seam down the middle where I folded the book in half so I can stuff it into my back pocket, or jacket pocket, or perhaps a friend’s mailbox, if I think they might like the book as much as I have.

Hardcover books are like anchors. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal. This is an important book. You should sit in a big, overstuffed chair and read it under a bright lamp, preferably by some roaring hearth, mayhap with a pipe and smoking jacket.

But a paperback is built for adventure. Paperbacks are light, and—as already mentioned numerous times in this essay—foldable. If you forget one at the bar or by the swimming hole, you will not mourn, for the book will be found by somebody else, and if you haven’t finished it before you lose it, don’t worry—you can buy a new one for the price of a drink or two, not an entire meal.

This is why you find paperbacks in hostels and traveler’s hotels. Take a book, leave a book. Sometimes they’re covered in writing (because nobody thinks twice about writing in a paperback), the stranger’s thoughts there to guide you, or infuriate you, or confound you on the off-chance they have poor penmanship.

Or perhaps it’s not a stranger. Perhaps it’s relative. A friend. Your mother or father. A treasure trove of thoughts from a dead loved one, who you never thought you’d hear from again.

I wish I could tell you now that I have a library of stained and tattered paperbacks to match my parents' formidable hardcovers, but that would be a lie. Because I barely have a library at all—although, I must admit, as I grow older, I’m beginning to grow the slightest bit of moss, my parents’ habits slowly becoming my own. Still I fight against the urge, because when I finish a book I love—and the truth is I love most of them—I give it away. To a friend. To a colleague. Sometimes to a stranger (or at least I like to think so when I lose them, as I so often do). For me, books are meant to be shared. Circulated. You don’t own a paperback; you have it for a little while and then it moves on with its life. The best you can do is help it find a good home.

But like I said, I’m beginning to pick up my parents’ habits, as most children eventually do. No matter how strongly I tried to fight against them in my younger days—both the good and the bad. Friends over the years have given me first editions of beloved books, items that demand to be respected. Treated properly. Well-bred horses that deserve a hay-laden paddock, not wild horses on open plains with wind in their manes. I now have a first edition of that paperback my father gave me all those years ago, The Collected Works of Breece D'J Pancake . So I keep it displayed ceremoniously next to a few potted plants. I like that it reminds me to think of the person who gave it to me. I like that it feels important. An anchor on my own terms.

So sure, I’m accumulating a library now that I am fully an adult. But let’s be honest: I picked this particular habit up from my parents long before I’m willing to admit. Not the library, per se. But I see now how they treated hardcover books as fetish objects, and that I have simply done the same with paperbacks. One to be kept, one to be shared. Two sides of the same coin. One distinguished and shining. The other dirty and banged up. One heads, one tails. But the truth is, a coin is a coin. Each one has value.

So if you see me at the bar finishing a book, or closing the cover by a river somewhere, or perhaps on a rocky beach on the Atlantic, ask me if I’m finished, and paperback or not, I’ll almost certainly hand it to you. I don't want to carry it home. I’ll quote my father without even realizing it.

“Here. Have you read this? I think you might like it.”

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Librarian Mock Interview

Question 21 of 21 for our Librarian Mock Interview

Librarian was written by Audra Kresinske on June 30th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 21 of 21

Why do you want to work for this Library?

How to answer, answer example.

The interviewer will want to hear why you are interested in being a librarian and why you want to work at that particular library. They will be looking to hear that you've done your research and know about specific programs, are familiar with their selections, or you are impressed by their offerings for the community they serve. Whatever it is that has drawn you to a particular library, be specific with your interviewer and share your love for books and their specific library.

"I want to work for this library because I have always been an avid reader, and I grew up coming to this library. I was molded by the books I borrowed here and the programs that supported me to be a lifelong learner. I remember participating in your programs like the summer reading program and Battle of the Books when I was in school; I have been transformed by characters in books I've loved and by several authors. I would love to pass on that future generations and inspire a love for learning in the community."

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How to Answer: Why do you want to work for this Library?

Advice and answer examples written specifically for a librarian job interview., 21. why do you want to work for this library.

Written by Audra Kresinske on July 1st, 2021

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The Perpetual Page-Turner

The Perpetual Page-Turner

Book Recommendations and Book Lists For Adults And Kids

12 Reasons I Am Totally In Love With My Library

March 16, 2016 - Updated April 12, 2021 // 39 Comments

When I was younger I used to go to the library weekly with my stepmom in the summer. My sister and I would always run to the juvenile/teen section and she would go off in the adult fiction area. We’d find our books and also sit on the bean bags and the floor just looking at books.

We would spend hours (well, at least it felt like that as a kid but alas I probably had no concept of time) and I’d come home with a stack of books I could hardly carry. I LOVED the library so much. It was my favorite place to go and I always looked forward to the trip — I have such great memories of going.

But then, as I got older, I sort of fell out of love with the library. Some of that was just my decline in reading during my older teens and early college so it makes sense. I only went during college for research for classes.

After that it could have been that I avoided it because of the fact I wracked up the biggest fine ever because I lost a really expensive book when I was in my early 20’s.

It also could have been because I became a book buying monster when I started blogging in 2010. I RARELY went to my library for the first couple years of blogging but then…. unemployment.

Unemployment changed a lot of my book habits but it helped me to fall back in love with the library and it’s really stuck as I’ve changed the way I buy books. I loooove going to the library again and have found it great for SO many reasons as an adult.

why I love my library

So let me tell you WHY I love my library so much!!

Because I’ve realized that there is SO SO much more to the library than just getting books out.

(Note: I realize how fortunate I am that I have a really great local library system and I realize not everyone does or that not every library offers the things that mine does).

1. I can walk out of the library with bags of books and all my money in my pocket : The most obvious reason but no but really…I love that on days where all I want to do is spend my money that I can walk into the library and come out FEELING that same high without my wallet crying. I mean, I walk out with 7 books…think about how much I would have spent. There have been days that I’ve been stressed or in a bad mood and I always get very spendy on those days so I hightail it to the library and check out books like a BAMF with zero of the shame or regret I would have with emotional money spending.

2. I am more adventurous because of my library : I think this is because I have nothing to lose if I pick out a book on a whim. I’m more calculated with my book buying habits these days — aka things I know I will love, auto buy authors, things I already loved as a library book/ARC and want to keep. So, yes, I am more likely to grab a genre that I’m picky in or a book that I know nothing about because I won’t potentially waste $20 on a book that I hate. I’d rather reserve that money for books I already love. Plus all that time spent browsing and wandering all the sections helps me to find things that aren’t on my immediate radar of new books.

3. I can check out ebooks and audiobooks easily via Overdrive : I love that my library is connected with Overdrive in addition to having physical audiobooks to check out. Now, it’s a matter of what your library system purchases, but I love the access I have to ebooks and audiobooks. Sure, sometimes the selection is a little lacking especially for the audiobooks I have access to through my library, but I can always find *something*. You have the option to request that they purchase certain audiobooks and ebooks but I’ve yet for them to buy one that I’ve asked for…which is fine because I get that there is budget and they probably need to see need for it.

4. The interloan library system is the best : So probably about half the times I want a book it’s not actually at my physical library — which is a bit on the smaller side. BUT I can go online (or I’m sure you can do it in person) and request a book from another library system in our county and 99% of the time another one has what I’m looking for. It shows up in a couple days and I get an email telling me I can pick it up. It’s great because I am not confined just to what is IN my physical library. I can get anything I want and it’s proven to be helpful for less popular books I want or older books that aren’t in circulation at every library or those niche books like dog training books or travel books that I need. You’ll never see me run so fast from apartment to my car to the library when I get a notification my books are in.

5. I can read magazines for free : I used to subscribe to a bunch of magazines back in the day but I subscribe to zero of them now and I only buy them at the newstand if I’m traveling or something. But I do get these moods where I just want to read a magazine and so my library is perfect for that. I can go in and read from the magazine section OR, the option I do 99% of the time, I can hop on to Zinio/Hoopla/Libby through my library and get magazines on my computer or Ipad. They don’t have everything but there are quite a few I like to read on there.

6. Library book sales : Buy books for cheap + support this wonderful library that I utilize at least every week!! WIN WIN. I don’t buy as much as I used to, even AT that steal of a price, but I so love timing my visits when they are having these sales to peruse for things I’ve been looking for. Plus I love to find good copies of books I love and give them to people.

7. I can get free passes to go to some really great attractions and places of interest locally. I didn’t realize this until a couple of years ago but the library has some passes that can be checked out and used to get free admission to certain some really great museums in Philly, the zoo, lots of gardens. I don’t if lots of others libraries do this but it’s genius and worth looking into to see if your library offers anything like that. I have yet to be able to get the passes when I want them because they are first come, first serve (and in high demand) but I’m hoping to try again soon.

8. They have a great selection of tv shows and movies (and video games/cds) : I can’t believe what a great selection they have — lots of new stuff. I just recently borrowed the first season of Poldark (which was incredible) and I’m always grabbing movies we’ve been wanting to see. I guess I used to think the selection wouldn’t be up to date but oh was I wrong. I don’t utilize the video games and cds but it looks like they have some good selections.

9. It helped me fall in love with comics: I had been wanting to delve into the world of comics but I was super intimidated by it and also I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg and figure out how all that stuff worked. My library doesn’t have issues but they do have a good number of trade comics either at my library or in the system that I can borrow. It’s been nice because I feel like I’ve been able to delve into the world in a very easy way. Now, sure, I’m not up to date always because obviously the trades don’t come out until a few issues are out but I’m okay with that for now as I discover the world.

10. It’s a good place to go when I want to focus or when I’m having a bad day : Honestly it kind of just becomes my place when I need to get out of the house. Sometimes I will go and write blog posts there for a different change of scenery or on a bad day I will just drop by and find a cozy chair in a corner and just read for a little.

11. M y husband gives less LOOKS when I walk in with more books : I mean..sure…there’s still A LOOK. But it’s also accompanied by a “whew thank god it’s just a stack from the library and they will go back and she paid no money for them” realization that tames THE LOOK.  Libraries — making husbands of bookworms less stabby since forever.

12. Storytime!!!: I don’t know what I would do without the library’s storytime sometimes when I nanny. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. For 45 minutes I don’t have to do the entertaining. And Miss Laura is amazing!!!

There’s soooo many other things I know my library offers — free wifi and computer access, classes, book clubs (which I always encourage people to look at their library if they want to find a book club ), author events, yoga, great database access for research — but I don’t utilize any of those as of right now. Maybe there are even more things they offer that I don’t know about! But I feel like I definitely get a lot out of my library! I mean, I remember times before we could afford a new printer that I was always running to the library to print out resumes or tickets for something.

I’m soooo thankful for my library. Even if I do wrack up the late fees all the time…..

I’m curious…..are you an avid library user? What’s your library like? What sorts of things do you use from it?

PS. Check out some great reads :

  • Books Becoming Movies/TV Shows This Year
  • How I Find Time To Read As A Busy Mom
  • Why I Love LibroFM (& Am Saying BYE to Audible For Forever)
  • Beach Reading Guide For This Year

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.

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Nicole @ Nicole's Novel Reads says

March 16, 2016 at 12:32 am

I absolutely love the library and I love the 12 reasons you’ve listed. I have always been a fan of the library ever since I was a child. My mother would take me there at least once a week until I graduated high school. Even during my college and post-college years, I still use the library. What’s great is that I can take out books, DVDs, manga, etc. without worrying about breaking the bank. I love looking at magazines and also borrowing e-books on Overdrive.

The interloan system is seriously the BEST! I love it to pieces! My current local library just opened a YA/Teen room a couple years ago and is seriously lacking in books that I am interested in but with the interloan system, I am all set to get most of the books I want. When I was in high school, my library pretty much had everything I needed.

I am an avid fan of visiting libraries in general no matter where they are located. There is something about walking into a library and finding a book that wasn’t on your radar. The library is magical!!!

March 16, 2016 at 7:41 am

Yes! It’s just so great to have access to all these books without spending an arm and a leg (though sometimes I make up for that in library fines lol). I’m picky about what I buy these days so it helps with the impulses.

YES interloan is so great. I can only think of ONE time that no library in the county had the book I was looking for and I know that I could request it and either they would buy it or I think I could get it from another library not in our county. I think that’s how it works. I never did it but maybe some day I will try.

SAME when I travel I like visiting libraries and bookstores just to see what others are like!

Sarah Elizabeth || Sediva Abroad says

March 16, 2016 at 3:51 am

Haha I love this. I used to go to the library all the time when I was living at home in Virginia as well as in New York. But I’ve learned that the Cork City Library in Ireland just really isn’t up to snuff. The building itself is fine, but their selection of books is pretty meh. EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve gone to search for a book (even using their interlibrary system), I haven’t been able to find what I’ve been looking for. :'( Definitely feeling a bit of librarial jealousy over here xx haha

March 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

Ah that’s so sad! 🙁 I do feel very lucky all the time about what I’ve got. Not to mention that I also have a library card to the Philadelphia Public Library System so I have double duty basically. When I was little I came from a reallyyyy small town but I didn’t know any different and wasn’t aware of books so I always found stuff/never felt it lacked. I wonder if, as an adult, I’d find that library to have a lot of stuff I wanted. It’s a more rural/kinda poor area and the library is rather small looking at it as an adult. Next time I go to visit my dad I’m going to have to check it out!

Rachel Lightwood @ Quite the Novel Idea says

March 16, 2016 at 4:30 am

I literally love the library for every single reason you’ve listed! I go fortnightly on Saturdays and just love it. I don’t understand why book bloggers seem to under use their local libraries so much. I mean, free books – what more can we ask for? I definitely concur that I’m more adventurous with my tastes in books because of the library (it doesn’t cost a cent or have any risk whatsoever to try something new/unknown unlike buying), and I never would have gotten into comics/graphic novels if it wasn’t for the library having such a large range. And their DVDs and their TV shows and CDs sections too. I stock up CDs like crazy. You can just plug them into your laptop and have them on iTunes forever then – without having to pay a cent. It’s perfect. Not to mention author events and book clubs and library sales. And Overdrive! I love Overdrive. I get a lot of the books I recommend bought – usually within 24 hours! I think it’s because I use the app so often. Not to brag or anything, but I’m probably one its biggest frequenters… otherwise I don’t know why my recs get purchased all the time. It’s just a fabulous set up. LIBRARY LOVE! <3

March 16, 2016 at 7:49 am

Yeah, I am also always surprised more don’t use them. I know in the beginning of my blogging journey back in 2010 I went spend crazy so I had a lot of books and would just buy what I wanted all the time and then obviously all the ARCs came into play so I have always been drowning in books…but I think in recent years, even though I still am drowning in books coming in all the time, I crave books that aren’t the latest and greatest and my library is where it’s at. It’s a nice balance. Though Will is always like, “WHY DO YOU NEED MORE BOOKS LOOK AT ALL YOU HAVE HERE??” Wellllll they aren’t the ones I want right now haha.

That’s awesome!! You need to teach me your ways to get the stuff purchased!! I sign up to be notified but have never gotten one. Maybe the ones I want aren’t that popular? Also some of them were YA audiobooks and I wonder if they don’t invest a lot in those bc maybe its not popular with the teens.

Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things says

March 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

This post makes me so jealous! *sobs* I LOVE the library but unfortunately my library doesn’t have the greatest books and it often take months and months for something to come in. I think if my library was just a bit better I would go more and I would be able to expand my reading interests because when I buy a book I normally go for as you said auto-buy authors, books I know I will love etc. Because books are just so freaking expensive that I don’t want to spend my money on just any book! Lovely post Jamie! 🙂

March 16, 2016 at 7:02 am

I used to go to the library weekly as a child. I don’t go to the library as often, maybe because it’s different than the one I know and I still have to get used to it. I do go when I need to focus on getting work done. Thanks for sharing!

Camilla says

March 16, 2016 at 7:36 am

I love libraries for most of the same reasons you’ve listed in your post, especially the one about e-books, but also being able to sit there and relax.

March 16, 2016 at 7:43 am

I used to be an avid library user, when I worked at one. With no fines on stuff from the library I worked at you can only imagine how tall my stacks of books got. Once I moved it kind has been hit or miss. For awhile I lived fairly far away from my library and we paid for parking so it just ended up not happening. Now I am falling back in love with it, and for so many of the reasons that you listed. I am currently on a Grisha binge and they had all the books and I was so pumped. The selection isn’t huge for ya stuff. And I need to be less intimidated by the other sections, but I am working on it. I definitely love that I can walk out with so many books that I have been looking forward to (or just randomly picked up) without spending a penny. And…I live within walking distance now!! So once the weather gets nicer I hope I can walk there more often. I love this post so much! Libraries need all the love!

Alise @ Read.Write.Repeat. says

March 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

I LOVE the library! It has been one of my favorite places in the world since childhood. I love it for all the reasons you listed – especially the ability to use Overdrive and for saving my marriage. I don’t have the budget to buy a ton of books, so the library is my salvation. I haven’t ever heard of Zinio before, but I just looked and my library has it – so now there’s a new reason to be thankful!

March 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

The library is just the best for all of these reasons. My parents used to take me once a week when I was younger and I would also leave with stacks of books. I kind of fell out of the library habit in college too, but now I make weekly trips again! Mainly because I’ve also become more calculated with my book buying, and instead of buying new releases or books I’m unsure about I just request them from the library and there’s no risk. If I hate the book it just goes back and I didn’t pay anything for it, and if I really love it I can buy myself a copy. (I also get significantly less side-eye when I come home with a stack of library books as opposed to a stack of purchased books, ha.) And I love just walking in and browsing the new books section and grabbing something that I might not normally try. I’m really lucky that I have a great library system too. It actually sounds a lot like yours! I definitely agree that Overdrive can be a little lacking sometimes but I still love it.

Lindsey says

March 16, 2016 at 9:54 am

👍👍👍 I really do need to get back tiki tart life. And agreed, unemployment has changed my reading habits as well. Tough times but we still have libraries!!

March 16, 2016 at 10:19 am

I love the library! I love all the reasons you listed too. I am super lucky because I am actually a children’s librarian, so I get to be at the library all the time. I love being able to recommend books to families and putting on story time each week. My library is smaller so we don’t always have everything right when someone wants it but we do have ILL and some other libraries close by. I’ve always been an avid library lover, but like you I had a falling out with them in college. The town I went to their library was just lacking, but I fell back in love with them during my time at library school and now I am lucky enough to work in one. People talk about libraries going away, but I don’t think that will be for a very very long time.

March 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

As a librarian myself, I really think you should share this with your local librarians 🙂 It would absolutely make their day to know what they’re doing right.

March 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

Loved this post! I have a few events coming up this summer at some local libraries, including one I think is very close to you! This post is such a great reminder that we can indulge our book addictions without going broke–thanks for this! 🙂

Kate @ Mom's Radius says

March 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

I LOVE my library. I visit it at least once a week – usually to pick up books from the interloan system. I rarely browse for books (except for my son). But I reserve books ALL THE TIME. It saves me so much money. 🙂

March 16, 2016 at 11:12 am

I was just gushing about PA libraries the other day. Unsure how our state got it so right? Access PA is a godsend. I’m signed up for four different library systems.

looloolooweez says

March 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

You know, it’s funny, but I just realized that I’ve only been back to the public library twice since I stopped working there last year. This mostly has to do with their hours — they’re only open late enough for me to make it after work one day a week. BUT. I’d completely forgotten until now that there’s a branch nearer my house that’s open on weekends! I know what I’ll be doing this Saturday while my dog is getting his teeth done at the vet.

The Emerald Quil says

March 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Yaaassss! I love the library so much. I totally know what you mean about not spending money, but feeling like you did. It’s always super therapeutic to go to the library when I’m feeling the need to splurge on books. I’m positive my husband feels the same way yours does about the library, because it really does save us so much money. He still doesn’t understand why I need to check out a dozen books, but at least he doesn’t complain as much!

Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic says

March 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

I LOVE THIS POST!!! I absolutely love my library. I’ve been using the library since I first started reading at 5 years old and I have such wonderful memories of roaming the aisles in the library and walking out with a stack of books. When my parents told me we were moving back to England, the one thing I was super excited about and what helped ease the terrible homesickness was being able to go to the glorious libraries you get in the UK. I go to the library every week and I absolutely love it. I love the variety of books my library has, the inter-library loaning (not that I’ve used it but it’s nice to know it’s there), the amount of DVDs they have available – and just how comforting the library is, really. I feel like libraries are so underrated so THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! <3

Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA says

March 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm

I absolutely love my library as you outlined on your list! Overdrive is a lifesaver plus NO LATE FEES!! I grew up in a country were we didn’t have a public library and the university library (it was one of the biggest in Asia at one point, like 50 something years ago) did not really stock up on a lot of fiction books, so I understand what it was like to not have access to books! We did have the local school library but they had outdated books. This was like in the 90s, I’m sure it’s different now.

But when I moved to California, I WAS BEYOND THRILLED! Plus, when I discovered overdrive… ohhhhhh lorrrrdy, I was reading more and more YA books.

I go to the library every other week or so, when I check out physical books and I used to hang out there a lot for alone time 😊

Funny thing is, I was just talking to my husband about volunteering at the library but then I’d have to commit to set hours in a week and my work doesn’t really help with that. 😢 wish this will change!

Great post, Jamie!

Danielle says

March 16, 2016 at 7:24 pm

The library is the greatest!!! I was obsessed as a kid and it was really my only source of new books to read. In middle school I would always use the spare time before school and the lunch recess time to wander the library and check out books that I’d finish by the next day. I remember my school librarian calling me his “best customer”, which I quite enjoyed lol.

Last year I moved to Austin and re-discovered the public library for the first time as an adult, and I am LOVING it. I totally feel your pain regarding needing to buy books but not having the spare money all the time/not wanting to spend money on something I’m not sure I will love. The city library here has a great YA selection actually and if they haven’t had something I’ve wanted to read, they have actually bought the book every time I’ve requested it!

JennRenee says

March 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm

all super duper good reasons to love your library. I love overdrive. Its so easy. My library even lets me check out ebooks through amazon. even easier. love it. Storytime is the best. I wish I could take my little grandson but i work during the times they have it. Sometimes on the weekends they have a therapy dog the kids can read too. He is only 2 so he does read yet… but we like to read to the dog so he can sit and pet the dog. its fun.

Chrystal says

March 16, 2016 at 9:04 pm

I am with you on all of the above. I need to use my library more and I think with the baby coming I will be there more often to save money. I’m lucky because I have a library just a few houses down from me (I live in the country and it’s a tiny radial library of the bigger town one) and I pay to be a part of the bigger library system in the city. I work in the city (it’s only 25 min drive) so I go there more.

The only thing I don’t know about is if my library offers passes like yours for zoos, gardens etc. I have to check into that. If they don’t I might suggest it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your library love!

Kay @ It's a Book Life says

March 17, 2016 at 9:47 am

This post makes me smile. Seeing as I work at two libraries I always love hearing other people’s love for their home libraries. I work as a young adult/youth services assistant and the kids LOVE story time. Seriously. I am so glad you are having fun at your local library. Also, who doesn’t love all those free books?!

Deanna says

March 18, 2016 at 7:54 am

I agree with you on all of this 100%! I love the library, and I always have since I was a kid. I moved back in July, and I had a great library system at my old place so I was afraid my new library wouldn’t be that great. The library itself is really small, but because of interlibrary loan I can always finds something. The overdrive app does wonders, and is probably one the reasons why I decided to finally get an ereader. Awesome post, Jamie!

Jackie says

March 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

I’m definitely more adventurous when picking out books at a library compared to picking out books at the bookstore. Because of the library I discovered the joy of cozy mystery novels, which I definitely wouldn’t have purchased at a bookstore!

I also love that we can borrow baking supplies from our library. I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to. Why invest in a bundt cake pan that I might only use once when I can borrow one from the library for free?!

Mary @ Books In Her Head says

March 19, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Hey Jamie! I totally agree with your point about feeling more comfortable reaching for things out of your comfort zone. I’m so lucky that both my school and local libraries rock, so I’m never without free reading material. In the past year I’ve had this major personal switch to buying books instead of reading them at the library. I can’t pinpoint exactly where this is coming from, but I think that the top two reasons are 1) I want to KEEP the books I love, put them on my shelves and REREAD them later. 2) Bookish Photography is a LITTLE more difficult with the filmy protective cases of library books (although I have found ways around this). I just snagged about 4 books from my school’s library on Friday and I’m so excited to get back into reading things I might not buy. This was a cool post with LOTS of awesome advice for non library goers. My advice? BECOME A LIBRARY GOER EVERYONE. Bye!!

March 20, 2016 at 11:17 pm

I just discovered Overdrive too and I’m super excited about it. I prefer to borrow ebooks from the library because I’m horrible at remembering to return my books on time.

Rae Cowie says

March 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

What a wonderful post 🙂 I too adored my local library as a child, even sneaking into the adult section every now and then and borrowing books I thought were ‘forbidden’. But then I moved location and never got around to visiting my local library until children came along – when it saved my sanity. A selection of free books – no more need to read the same rhyming stories over and over! Then I found the online ordering service, which stocks a fantastic selection of new releases. If my house were on fire, I’d grab my library card first!

March 23, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Love the library. So many hearts to Overdrive. I’ve been using it since the dark ages. Seriously, you used to have to listen to the books you checked out on your computer–this was before they even had a “send to iPod button.” Overdrive is so much easier now in the age of smart phones. I don’t know what I’d do without my library card.

March 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

Your library sounds like heaven omg. It’s a shame really but I don’t have any library in where I live. The only library I have is my school library, so it doesn’t have a lot of fiction books and I have no interest in reading about school subject. Plus I’m going to graduate this year, so that makes me practically library-less!

Morgan @ Gone with the Words says

March 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I have always loved the library, though how much I use it has ebbed and flowed over time. Loved going as a kid!! I started really using it again (aside from studying or doing homework) right after I graduated college. San Diego had a huge county library system and there was one really nice one near my work. Considering I had very little money, it was perfect! And where I live now has an excellent library system! Checking out a new book, esp a new new book, is such a rush, I love it! They’re pretty good at buying physical books I suggest too, which is great. The library has definitely made me more adventurous like you said. And I checked out lots of wedding magazines when I was planning. I need to try the dvd rental 🙂 I’m running out of space and trying to cut down on spending anyway so I’ve been using the library a LOT this year. It’s wonderful. So is this post :)))

Weezelle says

April 10, 2016 at 3:28 am

Like you, I love libraries. Every library has as different personality, even when they’re in the same local area. I try and borrow as much as I can when I visit, just to keep their circulation number up. I worry about the longevity of our libraries…..

Majestic Covert says

December 7, 2023 at 6:57 pm

My library is amazing. I live in Spartanburg county (sc) they have something called “spark space” I used it to digitize over 500 family photos & old vhs home videos. Some of the videos I hadn’t seen in decades & I remember crying like a baby when I heard my late papa’s voice again. My library also is a “no-fee” library. As long as you return the item, you won’t be charged a fee. I practically live at my library. I go about every 3 days & I am always happy there.

March 12, 2024 at 1:46 pm

Oh wow that is so cool!!

[…] Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner gives us 12 reasons she loves her library. […]

[…] “Twelve Reasons I Am Totally in Love With My Library” @ The Perpetual Page-Turner […]

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why i love the library essay

Why I Love Libraries

Gina Barreca

Writer, professor, humorist, blogger. Troublemaker.

I'm in love with libraries. During only one phase of my life -- and an unlikely one at that -- was I ever uncomfortable inside their walls.

In graduate school, when I was spending way too much time in basement rooms with fluorescent bulbs humming and crackling overhead, I silently started resenting libraries, bitterly belittling them in my heart as tombs for useless thought, as mausoleums erected to preserve both the immaterial and the pointless.

I was in grad school.I was bitter. I wasn't myself. It was like having a terrible time inside an otherwise wonderful relationship--sometimes it happens, but it passes.

You see, this period of resentment towards libraries was in marked contrast to one my life's earliest happy memory: a summer afternoon, leaving a noisy house to walk to the local library.

Inside that building, quiet as a church or a hospital, I could relax and look around without fear of reprimand. Palpably different from the judgmental stillness of the cathedral or the anxious hush of a sickroom, a contagious sense of safety filled the library's rooms. This sense of safety is what I remember best. At the scaled-down children's desk, cherished because of its cartoonish size, I carefully arranged picture books across the pale wood table.

Once I started elementary school, I spent even more time at the library. Unlike some kids, I didn't mind being assigned a research paper. In fourth-grade, I had to do a report on UFOs. It was fabulous--in both literal and metaphoric senses equally--and that's when I learned how to use the huge and intimidating microfilm reader. It was sort of like learning how to operate heavy machinery designed by NASA; those machines were as big as I was.

At Oceanside High School on Long Island, we were expected to use the library to write our papers; my huge public high school was demanding and efficient. I learned about interlibrary loan and regarded it as my passport to libraries in, for example, other galaxies. I'd decoded the processes whereby a regular person such as myself was permitted to have access to books usually reserved solely for use by Real Scholars. It was great: I felt like I was getting away with something.

The library at Dartmouth , my undergraduate college was deservedly well respected. What I remember best, however, is that at the pocket-size, imitation-Tudor-style English Department library, called Sanborn House, where tea and cookies could be bought for chump change at 4 o'clock every weekday afternoon. This was a combination of all my favorite activities (almost). The idea of eating in a library was as illicit as reading a novel during a dinner party -- it seemed eccentric and (in some unspoken-rule-breaking way) marvelous.

I continued to eat while studying-- and working-- at the library in New Hall, my college at Cambridge University . That library was where I felt most at home during my years in England. I would sneak in a bag of crackers and small squares of double-Gloucester cheese, making absolutely sure that there were no crumbs left (my fear of library mice being strong and supported by powerful evidence). I was a devoted worker; my sin was, I believe, a venial one.

By the time I was working on my Ph.D., however, I was back living in New York and tearing through bagel-and-fried-egg sandwiches before running up the steps of the NYPL. Maybe I'd simply had too much of it, but entrances into both large and small reading rooms became less inviting. There were days when I despaired; at certain low points, I harangued myself with the certainty that I was incapable of writing a laundry list, let alone a dissertation.

Only after my first book -- ``They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted'' --appeared in the card catalog (remember those?) in 1991 did I start to feel at home again. Maybe I felt better being the stacks again because I could place a book on the shelf rather than relying solely on act of removing one.

I have returned to being delighted by hours spent roving in the stacks. Mastering the Internet has been amusing but I haven't fallen in love with it.

It's still the weight of the book that calms me, the feel of the paper under my fingertips as I turn the page that grabs me. This pleasure is sharpened by understanding that what I love at this moment has only been loaned to me. I can possess it fully but temporarily -- just like life. ---

This piece first appeared in the Hartford Courant .

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When I tell people that I’m majoring in Classics in the College of Arts & Sciences, the most common follow-up question is what my favorite classic book is – i.e., English literature. While this is a lovely question, the idea that I’m studying English is a common misconception. Classics, as stated on the Cornell Department of Classics website, is the “original interdisciplinary academic field at the heart of both European/western civilization and today’s Liberal Arts education.” My studies involve learning about the ancient Greek and Roman worlds from a variety of angles, including language, literary texts, history, art, archaeology, and philosophy. The second most common question I get from people once I explain what I study is why I chose to major in Classics. There are a variety of reasons why I love my major, and also why I love studying it here at Cornell.

Small Classes 

Classics classes are often quite small – my personal record for smallest class taken so far is my four person Latin class last semester. Although this is not everybody’s cup of tea, this is something I really value about majoring in Classics. Smaller classes allow me to build personal relationships with my peers and also with my professors. Getting to know my professors on a more personal level enriches my learning experience in class and opens the door to other possibilities, including potential study abroad, research, and fellowship opportunities. There is also more flexibility for deeper in-class discussions and space to ask clarifying questions, which is something that’s not usually available in bigger lecture classes.  

Rigorous Analytical Training 

Majoring in Classics helps one develop skills in close reading, research, and writing, which help prepare for a wide variety of careers. The major imparts analytical training skills and skills in language and communication through coursework that implore students to think deeply and grapple with complex questions and ideas. I can confidently say that my study of Classics has helped me to improve my reading comprehension skills as well as my writing skills, and I have no doubt that this will continue to improve throughout my time at Cornell. 

Endless Opportunities 

According to The Princeton Review , both medical schools and law schools strongly favor Classics majors. Students who study Classics also pursue careers in politics, financial consulting, publishing, and graduate school in a variety of fields. While I am still not entirely sure what I want to do after I complete my undergraduate studies, I know that the interdisciplinary nature of a Classics degree will serve me well, not only career-wise but also in life.  

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