April 3, 2009

BTT #3 – Libraries

Posted in BTT, memes at 10:07 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is a little late but here nonetheless:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

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I use my local library quite often and am in there at least once weekly. When I was working/in school I mostly purchased my books from stores like Borders and I rented videos from various rental stores like Hollywood Video. Now that I’m not working, a few years ago I spent some time in the library and discovered that they carry recent movies to rent and I can also order my book/videos online ahead of time and have them all ready for me for pickup in one place. I was instantly hooked and save tons of money which is always a good thing!

As for the bookstore/coffeehouse replacing the library – I think at one point in the recent past stores like Borders did take over the library a bit because they offered convenient food and a place to read/relax, but now that the economic climate has changed there really has been a shift in the return to using the library. I can attest to this in my local libraries which always used to be busy, but now I’ve noticed more recently it is packed with not just students, but all sorts of people checking tons of videos out or just sitting and relaxing reading a book. Unfortunately, I also noticed that the libraries here must have lost some of their funding because they have severely shortened their operating hours and aren’t open all days of the week as they used to be, which is quite sad.

Yes, I went to the library often as a child with my grandmother and have many fond memories going there with her including sitting in bean bag chairs in the children’s section trying to pretend like I could actually read when I was quite young.

I have mixed feelings about modern versus older libraries. While the older ones do provide a wonderful atmosphere to spend some time exploring, I’ve noticed that most of the time these do not carry the latest videos or books that I am interested in or if they do they have a very limited supply and they’re always checked out. The two libraries I visit most often, one has been recently remodeled and the other was built in the past few years and while both of them are quite modern, neat looking, and contain a plethora of recent media, I am not as impressed by the atmosphere and cozy quotient as the older ones seem to have.

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