The director recently asked me to write a column for the Notes. A different area library writes a column for the weekly, and I think there are three or four libraries that take turns. She gave me no guidelines, so I wrote an essay that in my head has the title “Why the Library is Awesome.” Its actual title is more modest. I think it gets published next week. For your enjoyment, I post it here:
Winter – Time to Rediscover Your Library
Much has been made in the national news about skyrocketing library
use due to hard economic times. More and more people are borrowing
movies, books, and audio materials from libraries everywhere. Here in
Yarmouth, we are fortunate that people have always recognized what a
fantastic resource the library is. If you come often, know that we
really love to see you come through the door. If it has been awhile
since you’ve been in, perhaps it’s time to find out what your
neighbors have been taking advantage of. Our busy library is a
As soon as you walk through the door, help yourself to a free cup of
coffee. All winter and well into the spring, we try to temper the
cold outside temperatures by making fresh coffee available. We
subscribe to five daily newspapers and nearly one hundred magazines,
so you are certain to find something interesting to peruse while
drinking your cuppa.
If you love watching movies or television, we own over two thousand
titles, including latest releases, foreign films, classics, children’s
materials, popular television shows and BBC productions. DVDs and
videos are very popular and constantly circulating, so if you don’t
see what you’re looking for, check back soon or ask at the desk to
place a reserve.
To reap the benefit of reading while you’re driving, walking, or
taking care of things around the house, try an audiobook. Our
collection includes many recent fiction and nonfiction titles for
adults, young adults, and children. If you find a reader whose voice
you really enjoy, try plugging their name into the author field when
searching our catalog to see what other books they have narrated.
Very soon, you will even have the option to download audiobooks from
Many of our newest books don’t make it to the shelves for months,
because saavy library users know we are happy to call you when the
latest release is in. Take advantage of this service by reserving
books online, calling us, or filling out a request at the desk. If
you don’t see what you’d like to read, don’t hesitate to ask us if we
have it. Even if we don’t, we are happy to get it in for you!
Wireless internet is available throughout the building. We also have
computers available to the public. Many people took advantage of the
library’s wifi during our recent ice storm, not to mention the heat
and power we had while some were still cold and dark. We are always
busy right before a storm as people stock up on entertainment, but
sometimes we are just as busy during and after!
Before you make your next major purchase, come in and look at our
buyers guides, or flip through our subscription to Consumer Reports.
Some of these resources are available online – ask us how to access
them from any computer. Our institutional subscription to Consumer
Reports makes it easier than ever to search and compare products, and
through MARVEL!, we have access to thousands of journals, magazines,
and newspapers, including archives of several local papers.
Instead of purchasing travel guides before you take your next trip,
come into the library and see what we have here in our travel section.
We have a nice selection of destinations represented, both
international and domestic, and we are constantly refreshing our
collection. The armchair traveler may also desire to pick up some of
our travelogues, or take home a travel magazine. If travel is not
your thing, we also have an excellent selection of cookbooks, interior
decorating books and craft books.
You’ve already paid for the library, so why not use it? The library
is one of the best investments a community can make. Take advantage
of all the resources we own and the services we offer, and make the
most of your investment. While the cost of everything seems to be
going up, the cost to borrow things from the library remains the same.
It’s absolutely free. We’d love to see you here.