As I was reminiscing my US days, there was one place there which I still look back on fondly. Those were the public libraries in the US. Children and adults enjoyed the facilities of the libraries equally( and I am sure they still do! :))
What was awesome about the public libraries?
- A number of activities tailored towards kids of all ages
They had wonderful story times for children as young as 6 months of age. It was only a half an hour program but it was something that we(meaning – me and other moms and tots! :)) would never miss. My daughter was only about 9 months old that time and we would brave the cold and snow in the winter months, get our kids all dressed up, buckle them in their car seats and drive to our favorite destination. There were no rules that children had to be perfectly seated for the entire half hour. It was amazing how the kids enjoyed and the adults did get a reprieve from their adult life too! 🙂
It was also the best way for adults and kids to make friends.
2. Activities for adults
In the mood to play “trivia”? Want to catch a free movie? Want to discuss a book that you recently read? All these facilities and more will definitely be there at your local public library in the US…
3. Free Internet access:
There were a number of free Internet workstations for the public to use. I remember doing all of my Masters degree papers, assignments, homework in the library. It was one place I could have some “me” time and get some work done. Cafeteria facilities were always present for anyone looking to refresh themselves too.
4. How many books could be checked out?
There was no limit to the number of books that could be checked out with your membership card. However, they do carry fines which will be levied if books crossed the expiration date and are not renewed.
Other wonderful things about the library were:
5. You could also access other online resources like e-books, e-magazines, music
6. You could check out an iPad!(yes! :))
7. You could request books which were present in other libraries and they would be brought to you as soon as possible.
8. The library that I used to frequent also had International publications and I remember reading Tamil magazines in Michigan(though about a month late – but it was available! :)) You could access Hindi, Gujarati and all other language publications too.
How can you become a member?
All the facilities in the library are free(yes! :)) mentioned for members. How do you become a member? You just have to be a resident of that town(which can be proved by presenting your rental/mortgage agreement or electricity bill)
If you are not a resident of a particular town and would like to access the library resources, you can also purchase a membership for an amount.
Once you have your membership, you can enjoy all the benefits of the public libraries of the US and it will leave a lasting memory on you, like it did for me! 🙂
If you would like to visit my erstwhile library virtually, step in here……
And Happy 4th to all those celebrating! 🙂
Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.
She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂