Friday Five: 5 Things to Love About…

Happy Friday! Reminder – get your flu shot NOW to avoid impacts to your fall training and racing!

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is “5 things to love about…..”

LIBRARIES!

This is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I may write more about libraries and books in the future, but for now, just know that I wouldn’t be who I am without reading (and thus libraries). Reading is that integral a part of me, from the age of 3 when I learned to read….hence its presence in my twitter handle and blog name.

#1 – BOOKS. FREE BOOKS. As many as you want (usually) on almost any topic you can think of or want to know about – even more so if you can do interlibrary loans. This is an absolutely amazing, mind-blowing concept if you really think about it. (I know, it’s paid for with resident taxes, etc. but still)

#2 – Non-book resources. Depending on the community, a patron may also have access to DVDs, CDs, e-books, magazines (physical and electronic) and even things like online training. These are all available to me in my current library system, and I take full advantage of it. We check out TV series, movies, travel shows and educational/athletic DVDs, music or book CD, access Consumer Reports online (gave up our subscription). I’ve looked at the French language classes online after being advised they were one of the few providers teaching Quebec French in addition to Parisian French.

#3 – Librarians. Fabulous folks, right up there with teachers for loving both knowledge and people, and wanting to share as much of the former with as many of the latter as possible! I considered being a librarian and went to my first year of college intending to be a teacher. Almost without exception, the librarians I’ve been fortunate enough to meet have been smart, helpful, creative, kind, funny and just all around good people to chat with about almost anything! And some of the displays at my local library, from book arrangements by theme or topic (including “books with blue covers”) to customizing the outside drop box for Valentine’s Day and Halloween, have just been a lot of fun as well as getting me to go look at an item I might not ordinarily have. They put a lot into their work, every day, in the service of others, and it shows. (thank your local librarian!)

#4 – Community. The first aspect of this is how, and how well, the library serves the community. My library system has book groups, children’s reading time (with dogs to help children!), foreign language conversation groups, public interest groups, support groups, and on and on. They bring in speakers, many who are noted authors. It’s also a place I see many children and adults being tutored, whether in math, a foreign language (or English), test prep. The library has gardening events, hosts art exhibits inside and outside (a new photography exhibit is lovely, the prior one was oil paintings by a local artist, and last year outside were metal flowers painted by local school kids). They want to be a place people are comfortable, people visit for many reasons, and people care about and cherish. I think they’re doing a great job.

The second aspect is how much people IN the community value their library system. The town I grew up in (50,00 population, 1.5miles by 3miles) had 3 libraries – 1 Main facility and 2 branches. Fantastic collection, programs and staff. I was amazed when I went to other places and the libraries weren’t of the same quality. The town I live in now has an excellent system, and residents have voted against cuts to library funding. That says something (good) to me.

#5 – Dewey Decimal System. (sorry to those who prefer Library of Congress Classification – but it’s not intuitive, and do they have their own rap song?) I loved being able to find a particular book, then browse the nearby shelves for books on the same or related topics. (629.45 – manned spaceflight, for example)

I have about 30 items checked out from the library right now. (serious) They include travel memoirs, biographies, friendship memoirs, fiction, mystery, narrative nonfiction, YA fiction and scifi, business or self-development, a TV mystery show, a travel show, travel guidebooks and health-related books. I may also have an e-book or two on my Kindle. I have another 25 on hold, easily.

Libraries are a magical place, with books being windows into almost any and every topic, experience and endeavor or interest you could possibly think of. It’s kind of like being able to try every flavor of ice cream in a store with unlimited flavors. Even if you turn out not to like one, there are others to try (and how bad can it be since it’s ice cream – or a book). If it’s not to your taste, you can find something that is. Once you find one you like, you can find others similar to it or related (thanks Dewey and the librarians!). Or you can just wander and see what looks good. And you can do it over and over again, as often and as much as you want (with none of ice cream’s downsides). I’m utterly spoiled (and tremendously grateful) by my library and its riches. I live 3-4 blocks from my local branch. Safe to say they see me often.

When was the last time you were at your library? Stop in over the weekend, and make a good weekend even better! 

 

 

 

 

I have been so incredibly lucky.

 

 

 

What do you love about libraries?

Have a great weekend!