Rediscovering the love of the library

I don’t know when I fell out of the habit of going to the library… Maybe it was because the Internet was just exploding and it was so easy and cheap to get things on kindle and I wasn’t even perusing physical bookstores anymore… But I remembered that at some point my library card was taken out of one wallet and not put back in, because I just wasn’t using it.

For whatever reason in the last year, I started reading voraciously again. Probably because social media enshittified so hard I was able to break out of the meme/hype/dopamine cycle and got bored enough to rediscover how great it could be to read a well edited multi-pager. A lot of the things I read were inhaled like candy and I was wondering if there were cheaper ways to dabble in books from authors/topics I wasn’t as familiar with, and lo: Libraries.

I realized my library card was so old that not only was the card no longer valid… the website on the card was no longer valid. I went to the new website to see if I could quickly/easily set up stuff that would let me lend to the e-reader, created a new account with the usual online password (with lots of special characters like %#@& making it look like a comic swear word…) only to find that I couldn’t log in.. and figured I needed to actually venture into the library and finish setting up the account and get a new card to have it all sorted.

I went into the library during some time off and found that the real reason I was locked out of the online library experience was that while the account-creation page was okay with a bunch of the special characters in the password, the login page was not, and also the password was really supposed to be more of a PIN that could be quickly and easily remembered so you could log into the self-check-out easily with your library card, and the librarian that got me a new card eventually helped me sort it all out when it came time for me to try the self checkout.

Before I got to the self-checkout, I wandered around the library which had been renovated. I spent some time in the pre-renovation library as part of a community service deal to work off a speeding ticket. I remember browsing and occasionally checking out a book or two that I never would’ve gotten in a bookstore or online (a lot of biographies and memoirs)… and really enjoying them. This was a rediscovery of that, and also that the Library now had a LOT of computers to use, chromebooks to rent, DVDs and Audiobooks, and Manga/Comics. There are also now multiple study and classrooms that can be reserved as meeting spaces.

But I was so delighted with a bunch of the crafting books. I definitely wasn’t into knitting before the Library Lapse, so now I just saw all the fun pattern and technique books in a huge section, and of course I nabbed a book after perusing a bunch of the face-out top shelf selections which, as far as I can tell, are “a librarian thought this was nifty”.

The self checkout was also pretty handy. I didn’t even get to some of the e-book services yet because the physical books are slowing me down enough for the plethora of authors I’ve pre-ordered things from to catch up.

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