I Love My Library

Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Saturday, February 4, was National Libraries Day in the UK. For all my friends across the pond, I hope you showed your local library a little lovin’ this weekend. A quick Google search and it does not appear that Canada has a similar national day where we celebrate the joy our libraries bring us. So, I’m taking it upon myself to declare today Canadian “Love Your Library” day. I love my local branch of the Edmonton Public Library system, the Stanley A. Milner. Located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, it’s within walking distance of both home and work.
What do I love about my library? What’s not to love?! Ok, well, maybe the main floor bathroom smells a bit funky. And the gangs of scary looking teens smoking illegal substances outside the main door and spitting all over the sidewalks falls under the negative column. But despite those things, there’s so much I really DO love…

1. Their online services are fantastic. Being able to search for and reserve books, movies and CDs online is a godsend. If I had to physically go to the library and look something up in a card catalogue (egads, the OLD days), I’d give up. You can also search for events happening at the library (see below), read reviews, pay fines, and renew your library card – all from the comfort of your home!

2. The selection. Just about everything from the big blockbusters and bestsellers to the classics to obscure bands, the EPL is the place to go. They also tend to get multiple copies of popular books and movies so the wait times to get your hands on a copy is greatly reduced.

3. It’s not just about the books. These days, the EPL has DVD’s, audio books, CD’s, e-books and e-readers for lending. But besides all that, they show movies in their theatre, lectures, book clubs, kids’ activities, puppet shows, art displays, computer training, resume writing and so much more.

The Stanley Milner Library (main floor/entrance) by kandisebrown via Flickr
4. The service. Each and every time I go to my local branch, I get nothing but cheery people who love their jobs. Ok, let me clarify – that’s the people who work at the library, not us cubicle sheep who patronize EPL. Everyone always seems so willing and eager to help you find a book you’re looking for, help you with the self checkout, or recommend a DVD. I certainly don’t get that when I go to Chapters…

5. The price. $12 / year. That’s it. The cost of three lattes at Starbucks. For less than a nickel a day, I can borrow all the books, DVDs and CDs that I can read, watch and listen to. You can’t even go to one movie these days for that price! I would gladly pay double that for what I’m getting in return.

What do you love about your local library?


Ben Ditty said...

You pay for libraries in Canada?

Karen said...

You don't?!

Red said...

No, libraries are free in the UK. You pay to borrow CDs and DVDs, but books are free.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Libraries are free in Ontario as well. I was stunned to find we had to pay when we moved here, although it is a relatively small amount.

I love my library too. They actually have a really great CD section. But I do find lately that whoever is shelving the books is alphabetically challenged.

Adrian Lee said...

I'm ashamed to say I haven't visited my local library in years. I prefer to own a book rather than borrow one and the internet allows me to research any topic I want whenever I want. I agree libraries are important to our communities - but I just don't use them myself.
One curiosity - our local library was built in 1904 with a donation from Andrew Carnegie the Scottish/American millionaire.

Karen said...

We don't pay for our library here either.

SIL said...

Ok, that's kind of funny - I had no idea it was National Library day, but I did spend 3.5 hours there on Saturday studying. And we do pay, but only if we can afford it, it's $12/year and often they'll waive it if it's too much. Students don't have to pay at all, I believe.

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