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The library
Old 12-25-2016, 03:55 PM   #1
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The library

We tend to think about things to be thankful for as another year draws to a close, and I was recently thinking about something I'm most grateful for – the public library.

No matter where I've lived, the library's share of my property taxes has been very small – at most a few percent. Yet I've usually received much more benefit from what I paid.

Currently I belong to two public library systems, one where I moved from last year and the one where I live now. Both have apps I use on my iPhone and iPad, and they are so easy to use. When I read about a book I might be interested in, I immediately go to the apps and search the catalogs. Placing a hold is easy, and when the book is available I get an email to go pick it up.

Since I read very little fiction, the books I'm interested in typically cost a lot and would cost me many hundreds of dollars a year to buy outright. Even if a Kindle edition is available, it tends to be much more than any novel. But the library gets it to me for free.

Just one of the blessings of living in this society.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:04 PM   #2
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could not agree more. Many many library visits as a child helped to form me intellectually, and for a bargain price. A great boon considering my family's modest means during all of my childhood.And now, also reading more non-fiction than fiction, it is a great boon in retirement. I often run into several of my fellow retirees, from work or church or both, there as well, for conversation.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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I love our local library. I'm there every two weeks. They have a nice selection of magazines so I pick up all the ones that I like to read but I'm too cheap to get a subscription.

They also have a nice array of all the new releases of books, so if I've heard about a new book on tv I know I can find it there. I only read non-fiction, mostly biographies and personal finance and economics.

Our library has a Magazine Express section which has multiple copies of the last 3 months or so of the popular weekly or monthly magazines. Those go out for just one week. That's where I pick up People, Time, Consumer Reports, Money, This Old House. These are quick reads.

They have a large selection of movies and TV series on DVD and BluRay and a few months ago they started a Movie Express section where you can grab a copy of something that's just been released.

We have access to a couple of digital download types for books and audio books. I've tried both of these and I find I like having a physical book in my hands.

Our library is one of my favorite parts of my town. They have been very responsive in keeping up with changing technology. Their public computers are always well used. The place is always busy, it's an asset enjoyed by many people here.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:15 PM   #4
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I could not agree more. We love our libraries. We download a lot of library books onto our kindles. I use to take my grandchild to programs, when she lived in town.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:21 PM   #5
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Ditto all of the above. I don't have cable/satellite TV; I use over-the-air. My local public library system (a collection of many member libraries) stocks tons of DVDs that supplement most of my other viewing wishes (mostly movies & TV series, plus some "educational" ones). I don't own a PC printer because my printing needs are few, and my library offers 70 pages of free B&W prints per week! I bring in a thumb drive with the files I want to print. My library offers even more. To me, taxes well spent!
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:52 PM   #6
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Yep - I agree. Libraries are awesome and I use ours all the time... Requesting books to be sent to my local branch... or to the closest branch with extended hours during the holidays - my local branch is closed this coming week - but 2 miles away is an extended hour branch.

Our central library, downtown, even has 3d printers you can sign up to use for free. I've taken the kids down to use them a few times.

Libraries are an awesome use of our tax dollars!!!
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:25 PM   #7
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I've got a bunch of books ready to donate to the library (for book sales) in 2017. Luckily this year our county voted a very small tax to support the library whose budget had been cut after the 2009 recession.

Yep, the library is a great institution and deserves our support.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:16 AM   #8
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I love my library! My favorite treat as a child was the weekend library visit, but now I never set foot in the place. I download almost everything that I read. My library system is very reponsive about purchasing requested books too.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:29 AM   #9
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I could spend about an hour a day in library between mags and newspapers. In our last two relocation's, distance to library was a major consideration (walking or biking distance preferred). DW uses the audio books app and we "rent" DVD's also.

Agreed, great use of tax dollars.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:08 AM   #10
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Oh yes--one of those huge things that have so impacted your life and we take for granted! We went weekly to our town library and each kid came home with piles of books. I went on to be a Ph.D. in literature due to the habit of reading instilled in me. I can't imagine life without a good book in hand or waiting for me at the end of the day. These days I read more nonfiction than fiction: I've learned that reality is just as fantastical as any make-believe world.
Another huge deal was discovering a couple of years ago that I could get e-books from our library system "immediately" on my ipad. Though I still mostly like actual books, e-books are marvelous in those rare times where I don't have an intriguing book in the house to read.
I have a line from Poe's "The Raven" in my head these last couple of days: "vainly I had sought to borrow/from my books surcease of sorrow." Usually, books transport me far beyond any type of sorrow.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:25 AM   #11
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+1. As a somewhat reclusive teenager I spent a lot of time reading and in the library. There are even a couple old library books in my library. 🙁. The local library is on my charitable contributions list every year.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reminder! I've had a library card since I was a kid. When I was taking actuarial exams I used to study in the local public library and it was torture to wander through the shelves while taking a break, seeing all those lovely books I didn't have any spare time to read. Now it's a joy to browse and pick out books. I also love being able to renew on-line.

I keep forgetting to check out kid's books when my granddaughter comes to visit- they're arriving in a couple of weeks so I need to do that.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:17 AM   #13
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I almost never buy books. I put library holds online and pick them up or download when ready. I just wish the library would keep a data base of my reading accessible so I could confirm whether I already read something. Decades ago they did but stopped when governments abused the information to investigate peoples' reading habits.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I almost never buy books. I put library holds online and pick them up or download when ready. I just wish the library would keep a data base of my reading accessible so I could confirm whether I already read something. Decades ago they did but stopped when governments abused the information to investigate peoples' reading habits.


There's an app for that. (Probably multiple apps, actually). I use Book Crawler; I think it cost about ten bucks when I purchased it many years ago. Before the app I kept a spreadsheet of books I had read, but if I forgot to bring a printout with me to the library it didn't help. Now I always have access on my phone.

Like others that have already posted, I am an avid library user. Lately it's been strictly e-books because I prefer to read on my Kindle and it's so nice to check out a book at any time with a few clicks.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:51 AM   #15
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I cannot think of anything that comes close to a library in terms of value/enjoyment delivered to patrons. I am also lucky to be married to a librarian, although she is retired.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
...
Like others that have already posted, I am an avid library user. Lately it's been strictly e-books because I prefer to read on my Kindle and it's so nice to check out a book at any time with a few clicks.
Our library has a fair number of digital books but not nearly as many as they have in print. Seems to be the same for several libraries around our region including the San Francisco library (though haven't check this one recently). The Marin County library has a great selection but one has to be a resident to get access.

The only time I buy eBook's is when we go on vacations that require flying. Partly it's because I'm a cheapskate and partly it's because I'm so selective. Occasionally I don't like my selection which I just return on the next library trip.

DW does a lot of audio books from the library as she paints a lot. She's also an avid library reader and puts me to shame.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I almost never buy books. I put library holds online and pick them up or download when ready. I just wish the library would keep a data base of my reading accessible so I could confirm whether I already read something. Decades ago they did but stopped when governments abused the information to investigate peoples' reading habits.
Yes, that would be a nice reader tool which the libraries could easily provide. I keep a "new reads" list and a "have read" list on one of my spreadsheets. It's now 10 years old and has saved me from re-reading some books by mistake.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:57 AM   #18
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+1

I have six books out as we speak and DW has a few ebooks as well (she likes them / I need to hold something real)

We belong to three library systems (two from prior houses). Seems to be fairly common these days.

We also use the new digital services from the libraries. Zinio for reading magazines at home and Hoopla for watching free streamed tv/movies.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:00 AM   #19
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yes libraries are truly awesome!
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:02 AM   #20
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I love the library. Hopefully they will be able to maintain physical stacks full of tangible books in addition to the digital offerings.

I was kind of bummed when the Main branch of the library "Downtown" remodeled and they went to half-height stacks.

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