>And So it Begins…..

>I have been working in and around libraries for the past 3 years now. I never get tired of seeing the “New” stickers on the spines of the books, helping middle school children with their first research paper or organizing the shelves just so. I think I have always liked the hands on nature of libraries. Browsing shelves, pulling books, curling up in one of those oversize chairs and reading. In fact, I don’t even mind reading shelves. I get some sort of obsessive compulsive satisfaction from putting books into their rightful place. It feels good to know that when a patron goes to look for that book, it will be there.

A library is a really interesting place to be honest. So many books filled with interesting information. Travel books eagerly anticipating your trip. Children’s books waiting to be read to lap-sitting tots. How-to books brimming with ideas to make your life easier. It is amazing just how much information is really out there. The internet has made that incredibly apparent.

A search for “books” gets you: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, rare books, New York Times books, eBooks, books just for Mac OSX, books just for PC’s, books on how to search for books! I feel like we are all suffering from some sort of search overload. We get so much information from the click of a mouse, that we don’t know how to actually search anymore. I have so many teens come into the library who don’t know how to actually find a scholarly source outside of Google, its sad. Even when I worked at a collegiate library there were college students who had never used a library. They would ask questions like:

– “Are we allowed to check books out of here?”
– “Are all of your books available online?”
– “Can I download the audiobook of to my iPhone?”

So you would think that I’m complaining that libraries are “going out of style,” thats not true though! In these economic times, libraries are doing well actually. It is times like these that remind people how important FREE STUFF really is. When families start to see that paying $5.00 to rent a movie and dealing with late-fees are not worth the hassle, they come to us. When they don’t want to drive to the city to order a book from Barnes and Noble, they ask for books to be put on our “Will We Buy” list. It makes sense to use the local library, thats what its there for!

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