(I'm so excited to have J.C. Montgomery of The Biblio Brat here to share about her passion for supporting the library as part of a series of guest posts on the ways we get our books. Be sure to visit her blog after reading this...I know you will want to!)
I think I’ve made it clear through a few posts and comments left around the blogosphere that I tend to purchase most of my books from a group called Friends of the Library. They run a bookstore called Secondhand Prose that is managed and staffed by volunteers. Proceeds benefit the Washoe County Library System.
Their mission is “to strengthen public libraries in Washoe County. Backed by the belief that libraries are uniquely democratic, Friends promote, advocate for, and seek, funding for libraries. Through our projects, we strive to give children an educational head start, encourage literacy, and foster life-long learning and recreation for adults.”
An amazing but true fact: their volunteers recycle and use over 75 tons of books annually. Yes, that’s right – 75 tons!
Other than supporting breast cancer groups (diagnosed myself in April 2000), this cause is very near, and dear, to my heart. Supporting education, literacy, and the love of learning and reading. I just don’t know any cause that means so much to individuals and the community and one that all of us should be concerned about.
Now that is why, and how, I support my local library.
But how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….and in no particular order.
- One of the coolest Library Cards imaginable: one that fits on my keychain, just like those ones you can get at the grocery store. This makes it very convenient as I always have my number available for logging into my account. With their online access, I can check on the status of books or any other materials I need. If they are available and not at my branch, I can ask that they be transferred and held. I get an automated phone call to let me know they have arrived, or I can check online myself.
Also, the bar code on the back also makes it amazingly quick to check out items as they are only a scan away.
- MP3 Audiobook titles. This new format offers iPod®, iPhone™, and iPod Touch support. Overdrive Media console for Mac's is also available.
Not that I listen to books at the moment, but I know that many bloggers out there do. Until these peepers of mine give out, I still prefer the tactile enjoyment of leafing through a spellbinding tale. However, if I had a commute like the one I used to have in California, this would be a no-brainer. I am thrilled that this is an option I have available to me.
- How about cool programs for kids such as "Discover the Mysteries of the World @ Your Library” that encourages children of all ages to read for fun, knowledge and the opportunity to win prizes representing different countries. Children will select a reading log for one of 11 countries and when they have read 10 hours, will be eligible to win one of the grand prizes. Children may finish multiple logs with chances to win increased with each completed reading log.
All library programs are free and children are welcome to participate at multiple libraries.
How cool is that?
- Adults aren’t left out either with programs and reading clubs for every taste. They even have an event the first Sunday of every month called Conversation Café. This is an event where you are encouraged to drop by and get to know others in your community.
And really, isn’t that what this is all about: community and the servicing of that community?
Just as our tax dollars are used to support the Police and Fire departments, it is just as well spent on an institution that shows no bias toward any group, toward any age, toward any faith.
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture... We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
This is why whenever I chose to buy used books, I always head to the store located in a small corner of my local branch; a place where I know that much of the proceeds are used to support the library and its programs, and truly, in the grand scheme of things, my community.