Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I love my library. I moved from a small town with a small library to a city with a huge local library and I love it. I’m a huge reader but can’t afford to buy the large amount of books I read a year. My library keeps me on budget and lets me indulge without worrying about money. If I want to do some research for my writing, I visit the library to find out what I need. And the best part about libraries these days? You can “visit” without physically going to your library. I will have more in-depth posts coming later this year about how to get the most out of the library as a writer and published author, but for now here is a peek at how awesome libraries are.
My library has thousands of ebooks, which means I can hop on OverDrive and download some books or place holds or make returns without stepping foot in the physical library. Some books my library only has physical copies of, but I can check the catalog and place holds on my laptop or Kindle instead of having to go to the library. When my hold comes in they email me and I go pick it up. However, ebooks take the pain out of having to go back to the library to return. I like to walk to my library, so I’m less likely to check out material during winter when I don’t want to walk so far. In that case I stick to the dozens of ebooks on my wishlist.
Libraries also host activities and workshops for kids, teens, and adults. My library hosts after hours gatherings for adults, each one with a different theme. Local breweries bring in some of their stock for guests to try and sometimes bakeries and local eateries bring food. Libraries can also be great places for writing groups and book clubs to meet and for authors to hold book signings or talks. A library can be a place of quiet solace where you search through the shelves looking for the right book, or a social place where you connect to people with similar interests. The library also offers workshops aimed at everything from helping people learn a new language to finding a job, turning the library into a place where someone get the help they need.
If you’re thinking you’d rather buy books to support authors, remember there are other ways you can support them. When I read a book from my library I make sure to review it on Amazon, especially if it’s a book I really enjoyed but it has less than a 100 reviews. Since I didn’t buy the book, it’s my way of supporting the authors. If you are on the fence about a book, you can get it from the library and buy it later if you enjoyed it or give it a review to show support. Want to support an author you like? Recommend their books to your library.
If you don’t have a library card, you should go get one. You never know when it could come in handy.