The Green Doors of the Library: The One-Stop Entertainment Spot

Forget the video store; never mind the gigantic box bookstore, and thank you, but I like my music not surrounded by a thousand trinkets and distractions telling me in order to be hip, I need to buy this cool inane object.  There’s really only one thing I need to get fully enthralled with my entertainment and popular culture:  that bastion of democracy (as Ben Franklin himself believed), the library.

This is more than the repeated call of so many in this economic depression saying, “it saves money; it’s a public resource, etc.”   By now, many of us should know, besides having the latest books that come out, your local library can get you access to the latest movies DVDs (Twilight: New Moon, Mad Men: Season 3), music (Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas), and an array of other great resources such as audiobooks, language programs, archives, eBooks, and more.  But there’s a bigger and better reason to get hooked into the library.  Want to check out a local museum?  Your library probably has discontented (if not free) tickets.  Or you could attend one of the many different workshops that the library holds on computers, sewing, or join a book or film club.  Computer broken or internet connection down?  Libraries usually have several terminals open for public use.  A great example of the resources available is the Peabody Institute Library.    

More than ever before the library is your passport to a much larger world and with a library card, you can access it more easily than ever.  Many library systems now are part of larger networks and you can log in from your home computer or elsewhere.  Then, requesting books to your local library is as simple as a search, and a few clicks of the mouse.  The North of Boston Library Exchange allows people to search through the catalogues of some 28 area libraries; enabling people to gain access to some 741,000 items.  Trust me, for everything you can’t find; there’s 10 things you can find.  That is, without a doubt the library network won’t have everything; but they got a lot.  I use them extensively for graphic novels (a basic search reveals over 1000—though that number is probably under the actual amount since classifying graphic novels is tricky.  For instance, when I searched keyword “manga” it returned over 1500).  The beauty here is that I can request material any time I need to; even when the library is closed.  As soon as it arrives at my local library, they send me an email to come pick it up.  If I need to renew, I can do that online as well.

Additionally, for those needing further incentive, it’s one of the greenest steps you can take to reduce your environmental imprint while simultaneously improving the quality of life; and it saves you a whole lot of money.  Inevitably, this sounds like a paid advertisement; but it’s more about providing information and tools to people.  We’re often just pre-programmed to buy out entertainment and it seems silly to do so when so much of it is already available and free.

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