Our schedule will be a little different this week, as we’re joining in with Armchair BEA for the next few days. For anyone wondering about upcoming books, you can always check what we’re reading in the sidebar see a list of titles in the Goodreads group. If this is your first time visiting The Socratic Salon—welcome! We’re a group blog focused on conversation and bookish interaction. If you want to know more about us and what we do, you can check out our welcome post.
Part of Armchair BEA is a focus on specific bookish topics and today it’s all about the library love.
Librarians are awesome. Not only are they helpful, they’re very fun to talk to and give great recommendations. Show your library some love, and the wonderful men and women that run it. Why is your library fantastic? Got any funny stories? Feature your library on your blog? Do an interview with a librarian?
Or how we rarely do anymore since we started blogging and we’re pissed off about it…oh wait, that might be just me. Ha ha!
See, I use my library more since blogging, especially for newer books that I didn’t notice before publication and/or didn’t request advance copies of. We also started homeschooling shortly after I started blogging, so that and covering children’s books on the blog has also upped my library use quite a bit.
As I librarian I’m going to have to turn you in, Jennifer! It probably also means that I know a bit more than most about how libraries work so I know that as publishers announce upcoming releases libraries order them, and at that time they go into the catalog and patrons can place a holds. Bottom line? The day it hits bookstores, it hits libraries so if you’re high up in the hold list you’ll get the book right away. Oftentimes, I don’t even bother with requesting an advance copy but just get the book at the library.
My library usage waxes and wanes, a large part of my problem when using my library is my incessant mood reading, not getting the books back on time (I seriously had a $33.00 fine last time I went), and my need for instant gratification. When I first started blogging I used my library quite a bit, but I’ve since retreated back into my bad habits of ordering directly to my Kindle.
I’ve been in both places. I hadn’t been to my library in years (I was so bad at getting books back in time!), but some encouragement from other bloggers made me check out the online holds system and I realized how nice and easy it is to just have books waiting for me. And I so agree with knowing what to check out at the library now that I have a better eye for what’s being published. Unfortunately, my library system doesn’t let us place holds until a book is physically on hand (this is the WORST), but just knowing the publication date of a big book means I can usually jump on a title earlier than most.
It’s strange to me that such a big chunk of my adulthood was library-less, considering I have such vivid memories of spending time at the library as a child. I can clearly remember getting my first library card and how proud I was to sign it in cursive. Do you all remember much about your time in libraries as a kid?
A definite yes from me! My favorite childhood library (we moved around a lot) was Walker Memorial in Westbrook, Maine. It’s been renovated since I lived there, but my memories are of creaky doors and creaky stairs. Soft, somewhat dim lighting. A strong musty smell. Damp air. Almost complete and utter silence. Librarians who were warm and kind with welcoming smiles. The architecture, the furniture, the decorations, the floors, the grand stairs, the moulding—this impressive building made stepping inside it feel slightly intimidating, as if I was opening the doors of an ancient castle. You can imagine what it was like to find it filled with books!
I still have a lot of great memories of my childhood libraries and can honestly say that having a mother who loved to read and would take us to the library is why I ended up becoming a librarian. Reading is learning for me and the library gives the whole world to learn from—for free. It doesn’t get any better than that! And now, they do even more with online access, job training, workshops, events. They’re working with smaller and smaller budgets but are one of the most active community resources.
It was my mother’s favorite threat when we were kids! If you kids don’t behave, we’re not going to the library today! That worked better than any other threat out there for my sister and I.
Best job I ever had was working in the university library behind the circulation desk, the pay was crap but I was a college student and loved being surrounded by books. I had a similar love of the library in law school where libraries are nearly sacred spaces. For me, law school was such a tumultuous and stressful time that I always knew I could retreat into the sanctuary of the law library and take some time to myself. Not that I ever used the books, (because all the research we needed was online) so there is some irony there.
How about you, readers? Are you a regular or do you wish you would show your library more love? Have you discovered some tricks of the trade? What memories do you have of visiting the library as a child?