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The Library – It’s Not Just For Bookworms

Not much of a “reader”? No problem! The library still has plenty to offer.

Once I finished my education and reading a book wasn’t required for an assignment, I’ve pretty much steered clear of reading for “entertainment”. There have been a couple of exceptions. I actually owned and read professional wrestler, Mick Foley’s autobiography, Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks at one point in time. More recently (by which I mean nearly two years ago) I downloaded Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustane’s autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir, from the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library’s website onto my iPad and read it all the way through. It was the last book I read from cover to cover, with exception of the various Skippyjon Jones books I read with my kids.

Ironically, I steer clear of books because I just don’t have the attention span for them, yet I can sit here at my desk and write a 500+ word blog about what I believe to be the greatest cheese curl ever created.

So now that we’ve established my complete lack of desire to read a series of books about twinkling vampires, or a future world in which children are selected for a last-man-standing death match so their family can eat, what reason could I have to walk into a library? There are two actually.

CD’s

Stack of CD's
(Ryan O’Bryan / 106-1 KISS-FM)

The library is a great place to get music. The library allows you to borrow up to 25 CD’s at one time. A limit I’ve not reached on one of my trips, but I’ve come close on a few occasions. Keep in mind, the library is not Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, or wherever you normally get new music, meaning they won’t have new music the day it comes out. If you feel that if you absolutely MUST HAVE the new Justin Bieber acoustic album the moment it comes out, then don’t go to the library. If you can wait a few weeks, then the library is the place to go.

It’s also a good option for grabbing those albums that you lost along the way, or have been abused so badly over the years, they can’t get through a song without skipping. Personally, I like to browse through the CD’s and grab those I think I might like based on the band name or even the cover art. Sometimes I find a few I really like, and other times I find some that aren’t really that good, or are downright terrible. No big deal, I didn’t spend money on it, so I’m not out anything.

Bootleg DVD's
(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

DVD’s

Much like CD’s, if you’re looking to watch a new release the day it comes out, you’re better off hitting Red Box or your local video store. Of course you run the risk of forgetting to take it back the next day and running up a late charge. Or you could go the On Demand route through your cable or satellite provider, but you’ll pay a bit more than you would at Red Box or the video store for the convenience of not having to leave the house and go to either of those places. If you’re not in any rush, then just check the library from time to time. Another bonus? They let you keep new releases for three days and older movies for five opposed to video stores or Red Box where more times than not you have to return them the next day. So if you fall asleep watching your movie, you don’t have to try and watch it the next day when the kids are awake and bouncing around the house. This helps cut down on explaining to your five year old why one guy snuck up behind another and stabbed him in the neck. “It’s because he stole his drug money, sweetie. You’ll understand when you get older.”

There are a couple of downsides to using the library to provide your musical and movie entertainment. Unlike a video store, Red Box, or On Demand, the library may only carry one or two copies of the title your looking for. If it’s a popular enough title, say The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises, there’s a chance they won’t have it when you want it because someone else beats you to the punch. Meaning you may have to wait longer than you want to see a particular film.

The other downside is that not everyone takes care of the CD’s and DVD’s they borrow. I’ve seen some that look like they’ve been raked across a parking lot. We’ve had a few here and there jump and skip halfway through or worse yet, not play at all. It’s a chance I’m willing to take seeing that I’m borrowing them for free.

Finally, you don’t even have to go to the library to see if they have what you’re looking for. Simply visit their website and do a search of what you want. Not only will they tell you if they carry it, they’ll tell you which branch has it. If it’s already been checked out, they’ll tell you when its due, and give you the opportunity to reserve it. What the site doesn’t tell you is how many other people have put in a reservation, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get it the day its returned.

Next time you’re looking to hear some new tunes or check out a movie you haven’t seen yet, I encourage you to stop by your local library and see if they have something you like. You could even grab a book. After all, reading is FUNdamental!

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