Get More Out of Your Library: a new class!

Get More Out of Your Library: a new class!

Every year we survey Modern Mrs. Darcy readers and every year I’m blown away by how much you all read. Granted, this isn’t highly scientific, but with more than 5,000 responses, more people read over 100 books in the previous year than read 12 or less. 41% of respondents read more than 50 books a year. That is a LOT of books.

And our survey shows that when you’re reading that many books a year, you’re pretty good friends with your library—and the people in it. 

Books are only a part (a big, beautiful part) of what libraries have to offer. Even as I put this class together, I was repeatedly blown away by new discoveries about what you can find and do at your local library. (The Denver Public Library will let you check out a $400 GoPro camera for a week at a time. Please don’t tell Will or he’ll make us all move to Colorado.)

Libraries offer a wide variety of services and those services vary widely from library to library. We can’t tell you exactly what’s happening at your library, but we can give you a thorough overview of the possibilities available to you right now.

Here’s what we’ll cover in our new class:

  1. The Books. Cue Julie Andrews singing: we’ll start at the very beginning. We’ll try to help you avoid the emotional drama of all your library holds coming in at once, show you how to request a book your library doesn’t have, and explore your options for getting ebooks and audiobooks on your mobile devices.
  2. The Programs. We’ll use several library home pages as a base to explore the wide variety of programs—classes, book clubs, movie nights, story times, tours, and more—libraries have to offer.
  3. The Resources. What do librarians consistently cite as among their most under-utilized offerings? The free resources available to their patrons through the library system. We’ll dive into the free classes, free access to paid periodicals, interlibrary loans, Libraries of Things, and research databases you didn’t know you were missing out on. We’ll also explore community resources like voter registration, legal forms, notary services, and job search assistance.
  4. Tips and Tricks. We’ll encourage you to cheat on your favorite format, join nearby library systems, and use due dates to your advantage. We’ll also recommend tools to remind you to borrow instead of buy and explore accessibility options. I’ve recruited Hugh Grant to talk about library fines and there will be a real tell-all about all of my library fines. 
  5. The People. Ultimately, libraries are run by people. We’ll share what these book-loving people want you to know about getting the most out of your library.

Want to join us?

• If you’re an MMD Book Club member, you don’t need to do anything right now. We’ll email you the link to join the live event on Wednesday at noon EDT and after that it will be available in the Class Library for you to enjoy whenever you like.
• Want to join the MMD Book Club? Do so right here. You’ll get the class for free, plus access to all Book Club benefits: private forums to discuss any title or bookish concern, monthly book picks to read as a community, monthly book chat, and author visits. (We’ve already got Summer Reading Guide authors Sujata Massey and Marisa de los Santos on the calendar for this summer!)
• Want the class, and only the class? It will be in the MMD shop soon. Stay tuned.

My goal at Modern Mrs. Darcy is to help you get more out of your (reading) life, and for most of you, the library plays a huge role in that. I hope you’ll join us for this class, but if you can’t, go visit your library soon. It’s a magical place.

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7 comments | Comment


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  1. Abby Johnson says:

    I understand you make a living through this blog, but I hope you will consider offering this class for free at some point. It hurts my librarian heart to think of folks paying for something their local librarian would gladly tell them for free.

    • Anne says:

      What a great domain name! And your comments are noted. Please know that we created this class to meet the needs of our book club members, who don’t pay anything extra for it, and we always try our class content with them first. Offering it for free is a terrific idea, and would be easy and not cost-prohibitive to do once it’s recorded. If we offered it live now I would pay zoom literally thousands of dollars for those live video capabilities!

      • Abby Johnson says:

        I totally understand that it would be cost prohibitive to offer it for free live; if you are able to offer the recorded class at no charge at some point I would love to help promote it!

  2. Molly Wetta says:

    I’ve been a a follower for years and have always admired the way you make a living out of promoting books and reading. That’s my job, too, as a public librarian. While I love that you’re promoting library services, I’m horrified that you would profit off of information that library staff would gladly give for free. If individuals contacted their library they would provide them with personalized guidance about library resources specific to their own location.

    • Anne says:

      “Librarian Style” is a great name! And your comments are noted. We created this class to meet the needs and requests of our book club members, who don’t pay anything extra for it. We’re considering offering it for free in the future—these classes are easy and not cost-prohibitive to share after recording, but that’s not the case on the first pass. If we offered it live now the live video would cost a fortune!

  3. Brigitte says:

    As a librarian I somewhat agree with the above comments. However having also worked in some volunteer capacities I have learned that often people value something more when they have to pay for it. If your class gets people using more library services I will consider it a win. I do hope you also explain to blog readers that they can get all this info directly at their local library instead. In Pennsylvania anyone can subscribe to the digital offerings of The Free Library of Philadelphia. Long live the spirit of Benjamin Franklin!

  4. Cara says:

    Anne, I am happy to see your responses to the concerns folks posted about paying for a learning opportunity many can obtain for free from their local public library. As a frequent library user, I want to give a shout out to the many hard-working librarians out there who provide such excellent service to book lovers like me.

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