I have always been a big fan of libraries. When I was little, I went far more often than I do now, and checked out videos, cassette tapes, and books on a weekly basis. My mother took me to their children’s activities, like puppet shows and seasonal craft projects. And every summer I participated in their summer reading program and won fabulous prizes, like gift certificates for free pizza. They got me young.

Right now I’m lucky to live in Kalamazoo County, which has one of the nicest public library systems in the nation. I go about once a month. I usually make out a list beforehand of what I want, and check it against the online catalog to make sure those books are in. Then, while I’m there, I pick up the books on my list and browse a bit, picking up one or two unfamiliar titles. It gives me the same feeling of excitement that impulse buying does, except it’s even better because the books (or cds, dvds, whatever) are free. I don’t currently attend any of their book clubs or other events, but I am aware of them, and I often mention their free computer education programs to my more computer-illiterate friends (or older relatives of friends, as the case more often may be).

Categories: General