Literary Pursuits

Why I Have 3 Library Cards

library3I’ve always loved the library. All through my childhood and teen years my mother took us to get fresh books just about every week. Back in the day before the internet, it was the go-to source for any research a person needed to do. Patrons were expected to converse in whispers and it was all very staid and formal. And never very busy. I loved it.

When I was in second grade the public library was just down the hill from our house. Mother and we children walked down there a few times. It was a tiny library, and I remember the librarian ordered books from interlibrary loan for “the little girl who read so much.” Now, I’m fairly sure I hadn’t read everything age-appropriate in that library, even as small as it was, so I don’t know why she felt a need to order books for me. I think she started something, though. As an adult, I’ve never been satisfied with the collection in one library.

The library is one of the first places I locate when we move to a new area. I’ve been known to apply for a library card before I even get my driver’s license changed. When we first moved to Idaho in the late 1990s, the libraries weren’t connected to one another like they are now, so I had library cards for every little town within driving distance. I think I had a total of six at one time. Later the libraries formed a two-county network. That was more convenient. One library card worked at all the libraries and you could return materials borrowed from one branch to another.

When we moved to Colorado last year I had my library card within the first week. However, I find that these days I only visit the library about once a month. That’s probably a lot for some people, but it’s actually not for me. I used to go about once a week. So what’s the deal?

Highlands Ranch has a lovely library with a very extensive collection of books, and lots of nice resources. There are comfortable seating areas and study tables with a view of the mountains. They even have a fresh-grind coffee machine. What’s not to love about that?

My favorite thing is to just browse the racks for books. First I check the New Fiction shelf, then I look through my favorite genres of fiction and biographies. I also like to look at the crochet and knitting pattern books or cookbooks. Sometimes I’ll pull a selection of books and carry them over to a comfy chair to leisurely browse through my choices and decide which ones to check out to take home. It’s a relaxing way to spend a half hour or so.

But, you see, my library also has a good collection of downloadable materials to choose from. I can download e-books, magazines, and MP3 audio books right from home. When I finish my books, I can just log on and choose something else. And so, I don’t go in as often I used to.

Being an avid reader, after several months I discovered I was having to hunt harder to find something I was interested in reading in the electronic selections. I remembered hearing somewhere that Colorado residents are eligible for library cards at any library in Colorado, so I decided to check into that. I found the Denver Public Library website. Sure enough, I was able to apply for a card right online, and best of all, I could start checking out downloadable materials immediately. I’ve had my Denver library card for probably 6 months now, and have yet to visit a branch, though I check out e-books and audio books regularly.library1A couple weeks ago I decided that I needed even more choices, so I looked up the library website for the next county. We live practically on the county line, so their libraries are also nearby. I was able to apply online again, but for that one I did need to go in to pick up a physical card in order to check out downloadable materials. As it turns out, I was glad I “had” to do that. The branch I visited may be the prettiest public library I’ve ever been to, with lots of tall windows… and window seats all around.library2In honor of International Literacy Day may I just remind you of what a wonderful resource our free public libraries are?

In case you had forgotten.

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. –Mark Twain

{Linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.}

4 Comments

  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    I love the library as well! Our first year of marriage we were counseled to NOT buy a TV. On Monday nights we would go to the library and browse around, then show each other our finds. We’d come home and dive into our new books. Even today I get a little thrill when I go to the library, similar to when I go to the beach.. “I get to take all this home for free?!” I have not, however, gotten into the ebook thing so I do still make regular trips to my library.

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