When I move to a new city, one of the first places I visit is the local library to get my library card. There are so many reasons to love the library, but here are the top 7 reasons why my library card is my 2nd favorite card in my wallet (my credit card comes first).
1. Free Books (in ALL their formats)
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you can borrow library books for FREE! Who can resist free books? Before spending your money on a book you may love or you may hate, check it out from the library and make sure that it’s a title you want on your bookshelf. The library also carries e-books, audiobooks, and movie adaptations of your favorite book, so you can enjoy great stories in every format.
2. Book Sales
Most public libraries have a corner nook by the main checkout station filled with books for sale. You can look for an old favorite or a new find without having to worry about the price (most books are under $2). All proceeds from these book sales go straight back into the library so they can buy more books for you to check out. Friends of the Library also hosts an annual book sale that you don’t want to miss. The library goes through their excess or old materials including paperbacks, hardcovers, DVDs, and CDs, and sells them all for a deal.
Have you ever gone to a bookstore only to find they don’t carry the book you want? The cashier will tell you it’s available online…but you’ll have to pay shipping. Libraries often have an interlibrary loan program where they can request books they don’t have in their system from neighboring public libraries. They’ll notify you via email when your requested book is available and they’ll even put it on hold for you to check out.
4. Programs, Workshops, and Special Events (oh my!)
Libraries are located in the heart of the city, so they’re a great central location for meet-ups. That’s why libraries hosts weekly and monthly scheduled programs. They have everything from story time to book clubs to movie nights to computer classes. Along with their online event calendar, the library will also notify you via email of special events like guest speakers or author signings.
5. Book Launches
Speaking of author signings, public libraries love hosting authors. They’ll hold special events where they have a reading, Q & A, meet and greet, and book signing. Debut and famous authors alike love to support public libraries, so they’ll agree to doing special events there. One day when you publish your own book, keep your local library in mind when deciding on book events.
6. Peace & Quiet Time
You don’t have to have a library card to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the library, but how can you be surrounded by all those books and not want to take a few home? If you like spending your free time at the library, you can turn it into a volunteer opportunity. Every public library has a volunteer program that allows you to get up close and personal with the books while giving back to the community. You can volunteer on a daily, weekly, or special occasion basis – like when they host their Friends of the Library Book Sale.
7. Finding New Titles
The library is a treasure chest and sometimes you walk in not knowing what you want to read. I like to wander the aisles and look for books that catch my interest. There are so many books at the library that there are bound to be a few gems you never even knew existed. You might find that an author you enjoy published a sequel book or your favorite genre has a hot new release. If the title on the spine grabs you, pull it off the shelf. If the cover grabs you, read the jacket summary. If the summary grabs you, read the first page. If you got this far, check the book out!
The library is a magical place. It’s one of the few places where adventure, horror, romance, and comedy are yours for the choosing. All you need to access it is a library card!