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Love Your Library … Why?

Why love your library? Good question. If you’re a bit wary of how little our elected leaders spend on community engagement (that isn’t just a PR exercise), you’d be the same as me. However! After many years away, I recently took a peek into my local libraries, and was quietly impressed with how some tax dollars are wisely invested. This is a summary of what I found.

Pro Tip: keep reading until the end, for the most awesome item you could EVER imagine to borrow from your library. I’m serious. It’s an absolute treasure. Have a guess and see how you go!

  • Self check out! What the heck? Where is the food-stained old card and stamp? Now it’s like scanning a bag of apples at your local supermarket. Flash your card and your book stash at the self service desk. And viola! Books in your bag. But don’t forget to smile and thank the librarian on duty too. These keepers of the written word keep the engine running.

  • BOOKS! Yes. Available in physical, audio and ebook format, libraries hold a lot of titles in most genres, in languages other than English. Books are awesome but can be expensive, and here is the perfect place to top up your shelves and dive into the world of storytelling, and non-fiction items like textbooks and encyclopaedias. Just don’t forget to give them back before the due date to any branch that is part of your library’s council group.

  • Apart from books, did you know you can check out other bits and pieces? Even some very large pieces like musical instruments (no wind instruments due to hygiene concerns). Also available (check your local as these will vary from site to site): VR headsets, digital cameras like Go Pros and accessories, telescopes, DVDs and more.

  • You can also be connected with community services. Each library has an area set aside with pamphlets and information on helpful and important things like legal services.

  • After school activities and holiday activities are happening throughout the week too. At the Clive James Library, Kogarah, you can book in to hone your Terrain Building Skills for your favourite Role-playing tabletop games.

  • New skills! Some library branches host classes in computer skills (creative and office software).

  • Venue hire is offered by some branches, depending on their size. Book a room for some focused study, a book club, or anything you can think of. Check with your librarians on the rules about drinks and snacks though. No one wants a chip crumb stuck in the book they borrow next.

So, what else have you discovered at your library? Titles and services will vary from branch to branch, but you can rest assured that there really is something there for every member of the family. At the very least, pop in and check out what local art exhibitions might be showing. And smile at a librarian. You just might make their day!

For those who read to the end … so just what is the most awesome and unexpected item I found that you can borrow? Thank you Ben at Georges River Libraries for the hot tip!


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