This week is National Library Week. It has been observed nationally since 1958. Other book related-holidays in April include School Library Month, National Poetry Month, Support Teen Literature Day, National Library Workers Day, and National Bookmobile Day. I suppose they thought that since April is often rainy, it is the perfect time to celebrate books!
I couldn’t agree more. I happen to love the library (summer is when you’ll always find me at the library), but visiting the library can be difficult with out modern, technology-focused lives. Here are 4 modern ways to take advantage of the library without having to create a specific “Library Day” every 2-3 weeks. Library Day never worked for me anyway, because I always read everything I was allowed to borrow within 3 days.
Try Downloading E-Books
I only learned about this trick a few weeks ago- but how totally cool is it! Many of the libraries in major cities allow you to loan e-books to read on a Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc. Basically, the process is the same as downloading a book that you purchase, but the book is automatically removed from your e-reader after a period of several days (usually about 7). The coolest thing about this option, aside from the fact that you can download new reads instantly, is that the books return themselves. You never have to worry about your books disappearing and racking up massive library fines ever again!
Do Inter-Library Loan
Dallas actually has one of the largest public libraries in the state, but I hate visiting the main library. Parking is a nightmare (and expensive!), and it is downtown, which means I don’t really want to take my kids there on a regular basis. So, we almost always visit the small off-shoot branches, which is fun, but the selection is small. Usually, at least one book is missing in the series (usually the one I want to read) and the collection of classic books is much smaller.
The solution to this, of course, is to take advantage of inter-library loan. I don’t know if other states have this, but in Texas, you can request any book available at a library anywhere in the state and it will show up at the branch you request. Not only is this totally amazing, but… actually that’s pretty much it. It’s totally amazing.
Use Online Library Book Requests
My kids are small, and most days, I have about the same patience level as a 5-year-old. I don’t want to spend hours browsing library shelves hunting for books when I could be reading! So, that is where online book requests come in. You can order your books online, and then they will arrive in a neat bundle and all you have to do is pick them up. It takes 5 seconds. And if you are feeling too lazy to drop off your books when they are due, most library systems allow you to renew the books online as well (as long as no one has requested your books). This has seriously saved me hundreds in library fees.
Go to Library Events
Libraries: they are not just for reading anymore! Most libraries have awesome book events on a regular basis, and they are not all for toddlers anymore either. You can find really cool events at libraries, like meeting your favorite authors, book clubs, poetry competitions, foreign language lessons, computer lessons, reading competitions for kids, writing classes, board game days, and other seriously awesome stuff. The Dallas library is currently hosting events on inventions, making money, and finding grants and money for college. Every now and then, the library will have a book sale, which is one of my favorite times of the year. Seriously, finding dog-eared copies of out-of-print books? The best.
Do you love the library? Don’t worry, you don’t have to love it as much as I do. What is your favorite way to use the library?