My wonderful St. Tammany Parish Library filled my request for Roxanne St. Claire’s Kill Me Twice. I’d sent an email to the Book Buyer because the library has book two of the Bullet Catchers series in the system but not book one. I wasn’t sure that they would pursue it given that the book is kind of old by mass market standards. And in equally gleeful news they are also filling a request for a book, any book at all, on the iPhone. I very much love my library.
It amazes me the people I meet everyday that don’t seem to realize what a library can do form them. I work at a bookstore and I get people everyday who are looking for books they never intend to buy just to write down the reference. That’s what the library is for people. There are also a slew of people who come in that need a magazine article on such and such subject. While I might be able to point to to a likely candidate, how am I suppose to know what specific magazine is covering elderly exercise routines with pictures or the grazing terrain of endangered animals with full color map suitable for copying? That’s what the library is for, they have search engines and other ways of looking that up. Our locally library (if you have a computer and home internet) will let you access some of that from home. Out of print, scholarly works with print runs somewhere in the low thousands, local newspapers older then today — visit your library. If it is not on their shelf, ask about other sources such as InterLibrary lone, microfilm/fiche (some library might be a little behind the times but hey its free or at least very cheap), and the vertical file.
Once you discover the wonder that is your public library. Make sure you check out books — most library have to show circulation numbers to the bean counters. Pay you late fees — they go to a good cause (KEEPING THE LIBRARY OPEN). Visit the sale rack. Attend events. REMEMBER THE LIBRARY IS THERE TO SERVE A WIDE AND VARIED POPULATION — if you see something you don’t like simply DON’T CHECK IT OUT. Someone else might think it is fabulous. Censorship is bad. Tell other people to visit the library.
If you are already in love with your library, good for you. For those of you with limited access — some libraries sell access to people in neighboring parishes (counties to the rest of y’all) and states.