When is the last time you visited your local library? I mean, for anything- books, movies, research for school? If you had asked me that a year or two ago, I would have drawn a blank. We lived in a very small town for five years before we moved to where we are now, and the only time I went to the library was to donate books we didn't want to take with us when we moved out of town.
Then we became parents and homeowners, both in a short span of time, with me not returning to work in order to stay home with Gus and my husband taking a new job with a pay cut so he could be home with us more often (previous job: 3 to 4 months gone at a time). So the days of buying new books and video games, cable television, etc. are behind us for the moment in the name of budget-consciousness. In turn, we have been using our local libraries often. And I love them and cannot believe we weren't using them more before. I realized this today as I was standing there loaded down with books because I didn't think I'd need a tote bag. Silly me.
We have been taking books out for ourselves and Gus like fiends, and honestly, they have just about anything you could want to read. I love finding a new author that I like, and then there's multiple books by that person just waiting for me to take out. Today I discovered five whole shelves of knitting, crocheting, quilting, and cross stitching books. I forgot that libraries had such things. Now that our basement is done, we have taken to a Friday night date night with a movie and popcorn right in our own home after we put Gus down- movie provided by the lovely folks at the library. They have so many to pick from, and not just the Disney classics of days gone by. In the past few weeks we have watched The King's Speech, The Informant!, Julie and Julia, and Batman: The Dark Knight, all of which are relatively new. We take turns deciding what to watch because my romantic comedies conflict with his tear-jerker dramas. And in addition to all of the materials there, we have been taking advantage of the children's programs, which have been a good way for Gus to see other people his own size. All for free.
The funny thing is, I know I'm not even using the library to its full advantage. I believe they have passes to get into nearby attractions that you can "check out", they have e-books and courses to download, they have children's movies and CDs that we haven't even touched yet, and so on. It's pretty amazing. Now, I know we pay into the library being that we are taxpayers and all, so it's not like it's "free", but that's all the more reason to use it and take advantage of what we're already paying for.
I think in my professional life I should have been a librarian. I'm certainly organized and type-A enough to be pretty good at it, and I like the idea of being surrounded by all those books. But seeing as I don't have $1500 a credit laying around to advance my education, I don't think that will be happening any time soon. Maybe one day.