This Post Brought to You by Your Friendly Public Library

My home internet connection is down so I’m writing this post from my neighborhood library.

This is the first post I’ve written from the library, but it’s not the first time my library has contributed to a post here at the Modern Mrs Darcy.  This branch is my go-to source for books and information (and children’s story hour).  I could navigate the online reserve request system in my sleep.

There’s no telling what they think of me behind the circulation desk, where I’m constantly checking out stacks of books on women and relationships, women and ambition, women and nature, women and history, and have borrowed Pride and Prejudice (2005) 4 times this year.  I love my library.  And I particularly love my local branch–it’s well-stocked and well-staffed.

I would bet that many Modern Mrs. Darcy readers are big library fans as well.

And since I’m at my own library to write a blog post, I thought I’d quiz the staff to see what tidbits they think Modern Mrs Darcy readers ought to know about how to use their own libraries.

1.  “Bring your card and know your password.”Kristin, 11 years at the library.

2. “On the website you can see what new books, new music and new audiobooks we have–and you can reserve them online.”   —Patty, 5 years.

3.  You can take the GED test for free and take classes that help with resumé, job interviews, and career guidance.” –Tiffiny, 12 years.

4.  “People should look on the website to see all the services we have available.  People don’t use enough of what we have to offer.  They can go into so many different links if they use the homepage to click on the various services.”    Anne, 10 years.

5.  Don’t leave young children unattended!  —Caren, 5 years, Children’s Services. (My branch posts signs that say “Please remain with children 14 and younger at all times.”  Those signs are there for a reason!)

6.  “Reading should be fun! Parents–don’t stress out about what level your child is reading on. Don’t push them too much to read on a higher level.” –Emily, 7 years, Children’s Librarian.

7.  “Use the databases. There is so much there for everything from academic to personal interest to consumerism.” –Susan, 28 years.

7.  And here’s my own tip: If you need help, ask! The staff at my local branch is experienced, knowledegeable, and happy to help–but they don’t what I need unless I ask them.  Just ask!  —Anne, raving library fan.

Do you use your own local library?  What’s your best tip for getting the most out of it?

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  1. Linda says:

    I have a lovely relationship with our librarians. Because of homeschooling, I’ll often need to request things from outside of our county. Because they know me and know my tastes, they’ll look at a book and if they don’t have others that are similar in their collection they’ll purchase them for the library.

    Don’t forget to contribute to your library. Their expenses (like new books and DVDs) usually exceed what the state gives them, so bake for their bake sale or contribute gently used books and DVDs to their used book sale. Not only will the library love you, you will benefit as well!

  2. KT says:

    I love our local library and am always saddened by how few people seem to do what my mom did for us – take their kids to the library, grab a stack of books, and teach their kids to love to read! I’m the kind of person who loves finding out information before I start anything new, but instead of buying books on weddings when getting married, the mortgage process when buying a home, and so on I always use my local library.

  3. Sarah says:

    My computer is down too so I have been posting from my iPad! Must be in the air! 🙂 gotta love the library!! Our tax dollars put to excellent use! 🙂

  4. Megan says:

    One thing that I absolutely LOVE about my local library is the ability to request certain materials– say, a book that you read a positive review of, or an audiobook you want to take with you on a long drive. Even if the wait is a little long (which often happens for very popular materials, of course), the feeling of “it’s my turn!” is a glee that I find particularly wonderful. Basically, it’s like a free version of Netflix, but for books, right there at my library!

    • Anne says:

      Megan, that is me–exactly! I’ll come home and immediately request the book I just heard featured on NPR, or that my friend just recommended. And oh, the joy of seeing I’ve finally made it to the top of the reserve list for a long awaited item!

  5. We love the library, and greatly appreciate all the librarians who serve there. Ours take the time to get to know us. They encourage my children to read. These heros of literacy are community treasures! Thanks for the post.

  6. Mandi says:

    I think it’s sad that children under 14 shouldn’t be in the library unattended. I understand little children, but I spent a lot of time when I was younger at the library by myself when I was under 14. It would have made me very sad (and much less educated) if I couldn’t get my books there during the day in the summer when my mom was working!

    • Anne says:

      Yes, it always makes me think of James Howard Kunstler’s book The Geography of Nowhere when he talks about exploring New York via public transit, buying burgers for lunch and visiting the Met, at the age of—seven!!!

      Hard to believe that was just one generation ago.

  7. Audrey says:

    I love libraries! I think they are one of the best public services. Particularly, I would be lost without the inter-library loan system. I request stuff from it on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis.

  8. Josee says:

    We love our local library. One tip I have is if the library doesn’t have the book you want recommend that they purchase it or ask for an inter-library loan.

  9. Amanda says:

    I loooove the library. My grandma was a librarian, so I basically grew up there. I was a research assistant in our law library throughout law school and the library is, and probably always will be, one of my “happy places” 🙂 Like someone else mentioned, please all consider contributing to your libraries. They provide so many services with so few funds. And if you can’t give money, consider donating your books! I know that I need to weed out the bookshelves every so often and I love that my books will keep on being read (and that the library will not have to pay to acquire them!)

  10. Jamie says:

    I love my local library and am eternally grateful for the reserve system! The librarians at my local branch know me by name and automatically start pulling my newly-delivered reserve items off the shelf when I walk in. Lol.

    They have a great sign on the wall that says “Unattended children will be given espresso and a puppy” which find hysterical every time I see it, too. :0)

  11. Tess says:

    I love libraries! When I visit a new place I’ll often scout out the local library – influencing my opinion of the town. I was a library helper in grade six, and library page was my first official job. I grew up to be a librarian, and one of my favourite things to do is spend time at the town library.

    My advice? Use your library! Sign out books; ask questions; request to borrow items from other libraries (inter-library loan); have yourself put on hold lists for popular titles; do research; ask staff for suggestions; attend book clubs, tai chi classes, retirement savings planning talks… whatever your library offers. Libraries have to fight for every dollar they get, and the best weapon in their arsenal is numbers. Every time you use the library, you add to the statistics.

  12. LaVonne says:

    I love our local library. I read a lot of books, rent a lot of kids movies for my toddler, and even get books on CD for me. Libraries ROCK! 🙂

    I am visiting from the WFMW meme this week. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

    LaVonne @ Long Wait For Isabella

  13. I do use our library often. As a teacher, starting in August I check out stacks of books for my kiddos at school. I try to learn the likes and dislikes of my students and get books that grab their attention. I checked out one book about unusual sea life. I did a feature a day, and they just could NOT wait to see what it was in this “special” book. I have been known to check out classics and get asked by the librarian, “Oh, are you taking a class?” Me: “No, just reading…for fun.” I have gotten a raised eyebrow on that one! Haha! Reading is bliss!

    Living So Abundantly: New meme coming tomorrow, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thursday–come join the fun!

  14. Linda says:

    I loveee the library. I use the online hold system so I can peruse the catalog online, and request. They send me a neat email telling me when it’s at the library location I picked, and then I’m in and out! Love.

  15. Kate says:

    Hi all, thanks for all the wonderful comments about the library! I just wanted to respond to the unattended children in the library under 14 thread. I work for the Louisville Free Public Library in Children’s Services. We do not have an official policy that children must be over 14 years of age to be unaccompanied. We do encourage parents to stay with their children to the library becase library staff cannot be responsible for unattended children. We have many teens come to the library independently to use our services and check out books. We do not discourage this unless specific problems arise. I just wanted to let everyone know this. Thanks!

  16. Sue Mackrell says:

    I love my local library. As well as the usual a library provides, I belong to a monthly reading group; a twice monthly coffee morning to view new books and fortnightly knit and natter group. The staff are friendly and helpful. We really value the library and staff. It is at risk from ‘cutbacks’ and staff have been reduced so they have volunteers to support.

    I get your email newsletter as I love reading. Thank you for all the ideas. A couple of us are doing the challenge too. Sue from Crawley, West Sussex UK

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