I remember when I was a kid, Tuesday was my favorite day of the week. That was because that was library day. One of my parents would take me and my siblings to the local public library where we would check out books and magazines, take them home to read, and bring them back next week to do it over again. Back in those days, you were only allowed to keep books for a week (unless, of course, you renewed them).
Now that I’m much older, I still enjoy going to the library, although I don’t go as much as I used to (usually, time commitments keep me from going as much as I’d like). Nevertheless, I have a library card, and I enjoy going whenever I have the chance.
I was thinking about this earlier this evening while I was researching meeting venues. There are plenty of them that charge an arm and a leg, but why do that if a local library has meeting facilities? (I was also considering firehouses — which usually has meeting space — as well, but that’s another post for another time.)
The library is a great place. Not only can you check out books, you can also check out music, do some research (this was especially true in the days before the internet), attend talks and other events, and maybe even meet people. It’s a great public resource, and it’s free (assuming you don’t have to pay any overdue fees)! If a person doesn’t have access to a computer or the internet, (s)he can usually book computer time at a library.
I really think the public library is an underutilized resource these days, especially with the advent of electronic and online resources. Even when I’m giving my presentations, one resource that I nearly always cite is to “go check out your local library.” It’s a neat place to hang out, and there’s always something to be said about wandering around stacks of books. Even in this day and age of the internet and online resources, your local public library is still relevant.