The Library

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.


  1. Don't know what I would do without our public library!

  2. Hah! I work in a library :D visit it every day!!

  3. Great post! Inspires me to check out our local library, it's been awhile.

  4. Kristen, it's actually been awhile. I used to be an avid library user. I even worked in the campus library all through college. Libraries RULE. Just got invited to a 'craft' fair organized by a fellow etsian in my town, that will in part benefit the library.

    If there is something you need to research, trust me, go up to the desk and tell them what you're doing. ANY librarian would be happy to help you and they really know their resources!

  5. I used to love the library. When I was a kid my family went every week or two to swap out books. We got movies too, there wasn't a great selection, but you could still find some decent ones.

    Then after college I practically lived at the library. The one in my town was gorgeous and had a phenomenal selection.

    Now I live in a larger town with a worse library. They keep up their YA section alright, but the rest of it doesn't have much published after 1980.

  6. I love the library! I take /took my kids all the time. They loved picking out books. I haunt the craft section and art and history and the New arrivals section (and ok..romance novels too). I love the smell of it even..mmmm..books! One of my daughters made her first trip to the library when she was a day old..the "library ladies" still kid me about that! Julia

  7. i never visit the local library where i live now, i find it slightly creepy *ashamed*. But I visit the university libraries all the time, and I know my husband is always buried somewhere in the basement of the science library! fun post, thanks for sharing :)

    -rachel w k

  8. oh yes, libraries are the best friend of the frugal family! Ours has all the services you listed too. We're going to watch a Spot movie tonight with the kids - free from the library. I also like to check out exercise DVDs and try them out - then if I like them, I troll ebay until I find a cheap one and buy it. Cheaper than the gym!

    My favorite part of going to the library is that I don't have to certain I LOVE a book or cd. I can just take it home and try it out for FREE - no commitment. I love that. My library enriches my life. I pay my fines willingly :)