It’s National Library Week! A time to celebrate and promote our libraries, library system, and the amazing librarians and volunteers that make it all happen!
I’m an avid library user. I frequent my local library a few times a month, placing books on hold, browsing the shelves, etc. I have the enormous luxury of having a library, not only close by, but also stocked with a large collection. I know others aren’t quite that lucky.
There are also the groups of readers who prefer to purchase their books to read instead of checking them out of the library. This post isn’t going to criticize you for that. Instead, I hope to offer a few alternatives to supporting your local library and library system.
Get a Library Card
First and foremost, you should look into getting a library card. Even if you don’t plan on using it, having it available and ready to use will hopefully inspire you to utilize the library to check out books (physical, ebook, or audio) or movies. Having a physical reminder could also move you to check out what is currently going on at the library.
Also, for some library systems library sign-ups correlate to how much funding they receive, so get to it!
There are a few ways to go about doing this: money, resources, and time. You can donate money to library organizations like ‘Friends of the library’ or by directly donating to the library system.
By resources I mean books, media, etc. that you no longer want or need. Your donations will either enter the library exchange system or be placed in the library bookstores/sales.
Time. This one will relate to the next section.
Donate your time AKA volunteer! There are so many options to choose from. You can volunteer as a reading tutor, a volunteer librarian, at the bookstore (if applicable), hosting classes or be an acting member for an event/activity.
Here’s a cute story for you – there are two people who come to my local library who volunteer their time, but also their dog’s time. They own trained dogs and allow children to read to them, every other Tuesday.
Library Bookstores & Sales
Peruse the library’s bookstore or sale events. Books are often times cheaper and in good condition. Funds made through the bookstore and sales go directly back to the library.
Check out the community event calendar to get an idea of what is offered at your local library (or the library system). You can find art classes, language exchanges, citizenship classes, book clubs and much more being offered at various locations. Best of all, they’re all free! My local library hosts technology classes and engineering seminars/clinics to get kids to come in and use their 3-D printer!
I felt a little iffy adding this one, but I want you to hear me out. If you don’t use the library system in your community, does one of the reasons sound like this?
“Well, they never carry the books I want.”
Let me counter that by saying, the librarians and book purchasers won’t know what to buy if you don’t place an interest. If you send a buy request for a particular book, they’ll review the request and act accordingly, depending on the amount of funding they have.
For example, last year I requested the final book in the Sky Fall trilogy after I noticed my library system didn’t have any on order.
For Book Bloggers/Tubers/Stagramers – Donate Your Physical ARCs
I have yet to do this because I receive eGalleys instead of physical ARCs, but hear me out. When you’re done with your ARC and you don’t plan on keeping it, consider passing it on to your local librarians or teen/adult book clubs at the library (and of course, don’t forget your fellow bloggers). There are so many books, librarians and readers alike can’t keep up with all the titles, but if you push a particular title that you think deserves some attention, don’t be afraid to reach out them. However, don’t push it on them, they’re busy as it is.
There are so many routes to take and different options to consider. I hope this post introduced you to a few new options. If you want more information about your library, take the time to peruse their website. Most importantly, don’t forget that libraries are the foundation of our culture and civilizations. There are no reasons to not support it – and here you go, I just gave you seven ways you can.
Now, go out there and love your library!