Monday, August 3, 2009

Support your local library (with ice cream?)

A group of library lovers is campaigning for a book-themed Ben & Jerry's flavor. My favorite suggestion: "Gooey Decimal System." Though one must not ignore "Marian the Librarian Rasberryan"...

While I enjoy this fun idea, it unfortunately comes at a time when many local libraries aren't getting the funding and attention they deserve. I cannot say enough about the importance of public libraries, both for opening minds and offering free reference and recreational reading materials to all. They offer computer training and book clubs, author talks and discussions. They're one of the few municipal offices to truly embrace technology.

If the recession isn't reason enough to start visiting one's local library, I don't know what is. Most libraries are part of larger library systems, which allow visitors to order books, movies, and CDs from a huge collection. iTunes and NetFlix are great for songs and movies you must have immediately, but what about that CD you've always been meaning to listen to, or the television series you're catching up on? Every once in awhile, I go into my online library system and type in 20 things I want to watch or listen to. Every few days, I get an email saying one of my choices has been delivered to my local branch, and I go pick it up.

As far as books... as much as I support the bookstore industry, and realize that library nuts don't do much to support sales, I think it's even more important that everyone support the proliferation of reading in any form. Support your local library!

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