BLOGFEST 2011 GIVEAWAYS CLOSED SCOTT WESTERFELD GIVEAWAY CLOSED
Wowsers! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by the blog and welcome to you new subscribers.
BlogFest 2011 is ending in some hours but I’ve already received over 130 entries! Get those entries in while you still can! And mark your calendars: the next giveaway hop starts on July 24th.
And thanks to everyone who left their blog links or short messages in the forms. I appreciate reading the comments and I’m looking forward to visiting all of your blogs!
Now for the point of this post: I was inspired to write about libraries. (And you know about me and inspiration by now.) I’ve posted some reviews, and a little bit about writing, but another huge part of my life is underrepresented. Time to change that!
I think libraries are awesome. I’m not just saying that because I work at one. (Although I will admit I am biased.) Even if I didn’t work at one, I’d still be a student, a reader, and a writer. (If you’re a writer, you should definitely be a reader.) And I’d still be a patron of these libraries:
Yup, those are my library cards. I’m not counting two library systems where I’ve let my cards expire (though I do still frequent one of them). I’m also not counting my privileges at the university libraries. But when you consider that most of these are cards are for library systems, I actually have borrowing privileges and computer privileges at over 100 libraries throughout Southern California. If I renewed my other cards, that would put me at over 200.
I think that’s pretty neat, and I humbly admit that I’m very lucky to have access to this multitude of resources. If I can’t find a book in one system, usually another will have it. Or if I frequent a certain area, I always have some place to go and study. That’s pretty much why I have so many cards. =)
But Library Page, you may be asking, how does this matter to me?
I don’t have to tell you how ridiculously cool it is that libraries let you take home books for weeks at a time just so you can read them for free. I think that’s pretty universal. In my library posts I’ll try to illuminate “trade secrets” that aren’t really secrets, or give you reasons to be a more active library patron. Or both.
Today’s topic: your library needs you (part 1).
My library system keeps track of the number of items that are borrowed each year. As you can imagine, more is better. It makes us look worthy and keeps us funded. It also keeps books you love on the shelves. (If a book isn’t going out, it will be weeded to make shelf room for other books. Sad fact.) If you can’t donate materials, buy used books, or volunteer, a great way to support your library is merely to keep coming back and checking out materials.
Another way to love your library is to participate in library events. My library has great family events like magic shows and storytimes. We also have a dog come in every other week so the kids can read to him. :) He’s very cute.
I know the amount of planning and set-up and advertising that goes into some events and it gets really intense because of our small staff. If good events are not drawing attendees, much like unpopular books they’ll probably get the ax. (I’ve seen it happen.) A great way to show your appreciation and encourage more great events is to attend and bring family or friends along, even if they don’t have library cards. I’m always on the lookout for cool things like author talks or special book sales at my local branches, and I never regret participating.
A huge event every year is the summer reading program. Well, there’s more than one because there’s one specifically for children, one for teens, and one for adults. Yes, adults too! This year’s themes are “One World, Many Stories,” “You Are Here,” and “Novel Destinations” respectively. I’ve noticed that different library systems are all hosting the same themes, so if you’re in the US, it’s worth a shot to seek them out at your local library. They should still be going on. Usually the programs offer prizes, and it’s free to sign up! Joining a reading program is a great way to get your read on and get free stuff. Let’s be honest, you’re probably here because you like reading. And who doesn’t love free stuff?
One of my favorite events this year was Literary Orange. Hosted by the Orange County Public Libraries and the UC Irvine Libraries, it was basically a book festival, or a mini-con, I suppose. I got to meet some great authors like Lauren Kate, Tim Pratt, and Gail Carriger, and get my books signed, and library swag. There was a registration fee, but there was a huge discount for students. And they provided a really good lunch, too. It was relatively small (500 attendees), but a quality experience. Really, you never know what your library is up to!
Your library is there for you, so take advantage of its resources and keep it up and running. Trust me, they will love you for it.
I’d love to hear in the comments what cool programs or events your local library is hosting!