Yesterday, I was catching up on my google reader subscriptions when I noticed this short piece posted on librarian.net:
When the economy is bad people go to the library. We know this. Here’s two different media mentions: serious (Grand Rapids Press), funny (Colbert).
It got me thinking… as an avid reader dealing with the strain created by the economic crisis, I recently started to cut back on my book purchases. Let’s face it, I’m a bibliophile. I crave the scent of books. I can’t walk by a bookstore without going in an buying a new book. So, a few months back, I started avoiding bookstores.
I’m not much of a TV person. Other than “Heroes” (my most recent tv obsession) and the morning weather forecast, I rarely watch television. Netflix has me covered as far as movies. And last.fm has me covered musically. What’s left… my bibliophilia.
When I evaluated my spendings, I realized that if I wanted to limit myself to the essentials, I would have to restrain my enthusiasm for book collecting.
This is where the library comes in…
You would think that for someone with such an obvious love of books, I would be a dedicated library patron. I love libraries. I just never particularly cared for checking out books. As a kid, I was limited to the selection at our local library, which was not very extensive and rarely had what I desired. As a result, I got in the habit of buying books, and created my own collection (a collection that has grown out of control in our tiny apartment…). I buy them. I stack them. I read them when the mood strikes. I always have a new text on hand.
However, the occasional $10, $12, $24 book purchase is no longer feasible for me. Unless it’s something I’ve been anxiously awaiting (like Inkdeath) or a fantastic bargain bin find, I am no longer adding to my collection. At least, until the crisis passes.
Instead, I’ve turned to the library.
And it seems I’m not the only one.
The Miami-Dade public library system has been expanding across the county, so a number of small, local branches have cropped up. Many of these are more like computer libraries and inter-library loan stations than traditional libraries, but they serve the community.
One of these outposts is located near my home, so I have been taking advantage of its proximity and using it as my preferred pick-up location. This afternoon, I popped over to pick up a text that arrived for me, and the place was packed. Packed with kids and tweens. This area is not known for its scholarship and we have many of the lowest ranked schools in the county, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that kids going to the library, if only to conduct research.