The library is like a BFF who lets you borrow their stuff

February 5th is Save Our Libraries Day. Last year alone I checked out about 25 books and close to 150 DVDs from my local library. All the books were on my Amazon wish list, but I got to read them for free thanks to the city of Los Angeles. I could have spent more than $2,000 to get all that knowledge and entertainment, but I just flashed my VIP card (my library card, that is) and I gotta leave the building without maxing out my MasterCard. How cool is that?

Libraries are one of the few city services which everyone can enjoy. Want to curl up with a good book? Gotta rent a flick for family movie night? Need a computer to use while yours is on the fritz? Have to find a free class so your grandma can learn to surf the web? Look no further than your local library! The reference librarian at my branch knows me by name at this point (thanks for the excellent customer service, Ramona!) and I'm sure the person at your branch can help you track down whatever you need, too.

Still think the library's not for you? How about just doing your part to help support the community then? Donate your unwanted or excess books, DVDs, or audio books to your local branch. If they can't put them into circulation, they can undoubtedly sell them at their next book sale fundraiser!

Libraries are wonderful community hubs. Places where people can come together (albeit quietly!) and enjoy something worthwhile. So why not:
  • Learn something new
  • Expand your horizons
  • Stimulate your imagination
  • Be whisked away
  • Get lost in another world 
  • Find your inspiration

Get your library card today and help save our libraries. Your mind will thank you for it.

Hat tip to Claudia Yuskoff who tweeted about Save Our Libraries Day and, therefore, gave me the inspiration for this post. 


  1. Great post! I absolutely love libraries. I grew up in a big family and money was tight so going to the library was one of my favorite things to do. I use to check out the Judy Bloom books, lol. My friend is a librarian at the downtown library. I'm going to let her know you wrote this--she'll love it. Thanks for supporting libraries.

  2. I have fond memories of my local library, too. As a kid, it was so fun to go to all the shelves and have my pick of anything there! How wondrous it was! And, yes, I think all us girls have some Judy Bloom memories, don't we?

    Thanks again for tweeting about Save Our Libraries Day, Claudia! Would have hated to miss it.

  3. Amber,
    Thanks for motivating me to go get a library card! I've been putting it off for SO long. February 5th will be the day. I've always been compelled to own all my own books (I read with a pencil), but now I have to move and I'm looking at a overflowing bookshelf and two four foot stacks of books that I have to lug around with me. Talk about an anchor.
    I'm looking forward to slimming down on my book hoarding, and enjoying the freedom a library card will bring.

  4. Yay! Welcome to the cardholders club, Jordan!

    I've spent a lot of money on books over the years and some of them aren't worth it. One of the added perks of checking out a book is you're not spending $20 on something you ended up not liking. I can be much more open minded in what I read if I can check out new authors for free. Having the vast variety at my finger tips is pretty great and if it's not at my branch, the reference library can order it for me.

    I still have a LOT of books at home, too. But, if you don't want to lug around your collection, I'm sure your local library can put your donation to good use!

    Thanks so much for chiming in, Jordan!

  5. Amber, I'm so glad you wrote this post! The library has been my magicial escape since I was a kid who was overwhelmed at the sight of seeing so many books within my reach. Now I still go there when I want time alone, to find info on travel or a new recipe or to donate books I've bought, there is nothing better than the feel of the pages of a book.

  6. Never knew it was. I LOVE my local library, which considering it covers a county of only 320000 could maybe give LA a run for its money.
    It is an economic driver, a video store, and DVD rental system as you said.
    I only buy books when I REALLY want to keep them. Used to be a horrific book hoarder, but got over that when the kids came along...
    How about some book recommendations?
    I'm half way through Founding Foodies about how our founding fathers made and loved food... AWESOME!

  7. I so agree, Dee! The days my mom took me to the library as a kid were so wonderful. All those books and I could only check out three? What to pick? What to pick!

    Say what you want about Kindles, but there's still something special about the tangible aspects of a book.

    Thanks for commenting and being a library supporter, Dee!

  8. So true, Todd! Why be limited by what you can read based on the money in your wallet? Read to your heart's content at the local library!

    Founding Foodies? What an interesting twist on a traditional food or history book! Sounds interesting. As for my recommendations, for business I say UnMarketing and for pleasure I enjoy Janet Evanovich.

  9. My local library has a great collection of CDs. I borrow them, copy songs to my computer, and tally up the $ that I saved by not buying the music on iTunes! I also love the children's books they sell super cheap to add to my student library. Plus, it's a peaceful place to go in this crazy busy world. SAVE THE LIBRARIES!

  10. I remember Evanovich from ages ago...
    I've been meaning to get to Scott's book, but of course, it is probably worth BUYING.
    This inspired me to download the kindle app to my computer... see if I can find it THAT way

  11. Scott's book is a must read. Great info delivered in an entertaining way. Win win.

  12. Honestly, I've never even thought to look for music there. Wow, great idea. The branch I go to is really tiny, so I doubt they have CDs, but I bet the newer branch in the other direction does. Good idea!

    As for you shopping at the library's book sales to stock your classroom, that's a fabulous thinking! You're such a smart teacher ;-)

  13. Definitely love that I can stop by the library and pick up a good book to read (saves on emptying the wallet on B&N which can happen far to easily). Also, did you know they rent out dvd's too? Yeah, I didn't know that... Pretty cool!

    The only part I don't like is when they don't have something and I have to wait a couple of weeks to get it :-/

  14. Amber, I always feel like a kindred spirit when I read your posts! I love my library! The books on tape got me through years of 2 hours on the road daily, has sustained me when I had little cash and needed entertainment and I never fail to thank the local librarians. I also always recommend the library when I am doing life skills groups for clients and it doesn't hurt that I can recommend the library regardless of their income level!

  15. Jeanie, thank you! Glad we crossed paths in the Twittersphere! ;-)

    Yes, books on tape have been a godsend for me for than a few times. Those things are EXPENSIVE!

    Glad to hear you thank your librarian. That's fantastic! Dealing with the public is a challenging job and a good librarian can really make your visit to the library truly enjoyable. That's why I'm so grateful for Ramona, and very disappointed when she's not the one working the reference desk!

    Thank you for taking the time to add to our discussion, Jeanie. Glad to know another library lover ;-)

  16. Oh, I get DVDs from the library all the time! I'm up to season four of The Sopranos ;-)

    As for waiting, if a book is a new release from a popular author, I've had to get waitlisted, too. But, so be it. It's free and better than plunking down $25. Especially if it's a book I'll just read once and know I don't need for my personal library.

    Libraries rule! Thanks for chiming in, Ricardo!

  17. Huge library fan here. I hadn't thought about getting rid of my books there, though. I do kind of miss the enforced quiet. When did I turn into a curmudgeon?

  18. Ha ha! I think when we become adults, the curmudgeon gene kicks into gear ;-)

    I believe the enforced quiet thing took a bit of a hit when people started using the library as daycare for their kids when they leave school for the day. I actually had a talk with one of the libraries about that and turns out the library is the "safe place" for the kids to wait for parents until they come to pick them up after work.

    If you want real quiet, my experience has been to go to the library before 3pm. After that, all bets are off ;-)


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