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Libraries: an Often Untapped Resource

Charles Thurston-Snoha

Posted on July 8, 2018 23:58

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Who knew libraries had so much to offer?

Growing up I rarely went to the library. In fact, I only found myself aimlessly roaming around inside one when I had a project or research paper to do for school. It wasn’t that I had anything against libraries. Rather, I just didn’t do a lot of reading growing up.

Sure, I’d read a book here and there, but they were few and far between. And, if I’m being completely honest, I went many, many years after graduating from college without reading any books at all. That is, aside from the books I read to my kids, which usually only took one sitting. At the time, I really didn’t see the point. I enjoyed reading, but already so pressed for time, it was much easier to entertain myself through various other means. Mainly, television and video games.

Fast forward a few years, and even though I still enjoyed playing video games and watching television, I found myself wanting to pick up a new hobby. Reading. I had heard so many people over the years making comments that although the movie version of the book was enjoyable, it paled in comparison to the book. I wanted in on that action.

Hoping to keep my new hobby as inexpensive as possible — raising kids isn’t cheap — I headed over to my local library and got myself a library card. I haven’t stopped going since. In addition to a wide selection of books (from self-help to horror), I found myself a regular visitor at the library.

I took out books, movies and ultimately got hooked on audiobooks. Commuting anywhere from around five to seven hours per week, I was able to knock out books, which would have probably taken me months, if not years to complete, in only a matter of weeks.

And that’s not even the best part. In addition to being free, which can’t be topped, the selection was great. From new to old, I was thoroughly impressed with the audiobook catalog. Some libraries even have audio books available online for free, which can be downloaded onto a phone or tablet device.

As for the other perks available at most libraries, I found out that they actually do a lot for the community. They hold workshops, provide internet access to those in need, always have something fun going on for the kids (such as book readings) and even have various trainings dedicated to career development or self-growth.

Already employed, I skipped the resume and job interviewing trainings and opted for creative writing, editing and proofreading trainings (an area that suited me more). As someone who has moved five times over the past 10 years, I can attest that some libraries offer more than others, but I’ve been happy with the libraries I have visited so far.

That said, if you haven’t visited a library in quite some time, it might be work “checking” one out.  

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