Sunday Salon – The Library Is My Friend

It’s been a lovely first full week of 2010.  The children, all happy to see each other after the break, were excited to tell stories of holiday adventures.  Our weather stayed somewhat mild through Friday when it bagan to pour, and pour, and pour.  Then yesterday the sun can out and it turned warm, with a wildly cloud-streaked sky and beautiful winter light. If it were cold we would have had snow by now but I think we may be past that possibility for this Winter.

I joined another challenge this week, one I am very interested in, one I will not have a problem completing, and I can use the books I read as part of    this challenge.

I have to say that neither of these challenges would be possible for me without the Seattle Public Library system.  I have very little discretionary income to spend on books and rely on the library for 90% of my reading material.

And here is my rant for the week.  I think the public library system is one of the last truly democratic institutions left, at least in the US.  It drives me crazy that we can come up with all kinds of “public-private” schemes to fund and build fancy new sports stadia, and Seattle can afford to give mega-developers huge tax breaks , but can’t manage to keep our libraries open 7 days a week.

Enough said.  My reading has been slow,  Wolf Hall is dense, but in a different way than The Children’s Book.  I am really loving it.

Here are a few other books I picked up from the library on Friday. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful reading week.  To find out more about Sunday Salon visit here.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Sunday Salon – The Library Is My Friend

  1. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t scratch my head in wonder at my library and how it is too good to be true. They have everything you would ever want, either between their walls or will borrow from someone else, you can order anything online, and they DELIVER TO MY HOUSE! And it’s free! (sort of) My husband always laughs and says at least we are getting our tax dollar worth with the library!

  2. I love to tell the young children at my school about the library. Books. Free. Movies. Free. Computer. Free. Their eyes open wide. They can’t believe it. Why have their parents not taken them them to this paradise?!

    I just finished Wolf Hall yesterday. (That’s what a miserable cold and icy weather will do for you!) Now, I suspect, I must try Children’s Book soon.

    • We take small group of children to our downtown library and they always want to spend the whole day just browsing the stacks!

      I will keep an eye out for your review of Wolf Hall.

  3. Eva

    I love my library too, and I definitely think it’s one of the most important aspects of democracy. Like you, I don’t have money to just buy books, so I wouldn’t be able to do most of my challenges without the library. But unlike you, mine is open 7 days a week, which I’m suddenly appreciating more than I used to! Boo to Seattle not doing that.

    • Eva – Right now our libraries are open on Sundays but the new schedule, starting February 1st, has many branches closing on Fridays and Sundays! The branches tend to be located in areas where young people and lower income people really count on access to books, videos and the internet. We did manage to get the city council to fund many of the larger branches for 7 days a week.

  4. I love when people make important and meaningful rants! I haven’t gone to the library in some time (because I now work for an organization with a used bookstore and get free books), but I LOVED them growing up and I know when I (hopefully) return to school in the fall, I’ll go to the university library all the time.

  5. I’m shocked Seattle doesn’t have the library open seven days a week. My hometown runs an amazing library on a shoestring budget, and they have excellent hours. I couldn’t do without them!

    • Right now our libraries are open on Sundays but the new schedule, starting February 1st, has many branches closing on Fridays and Sundays! The branches tend to be located in areas where young people and lower income people really count on access to books, videos and the internet. We did manage to get the city council to fund our larger branches for 7 days a week.

      It’s very sad. As a city we managed to pass tax levies to fund renovations, new branches and a stunning new central library but the operating budget comes from the city budget and that is shrinking rapidly so services like homeless shelters, free clinics and libraries get cut.

  6. My local library just had a funding cut and had to get rid of some of their online services. I didn’t use those particular services, but I was sad to see them go, and scared about what it might mean for the future.

    I am lucky that even though I live in a small town, we have a great county library system. I love that I can go online, search, and if the book is available anywhere in the county, they’ll have it at my local branch in some ridiculously short amount of time. It makes me feel rather spoiled.

    • Katie – Thanks for your comments. Right now our libraries are open on Sundays but the new schedule, starting February 1st, has many branches closing on Fridays and Sundays! The branches tend to be located in areas where young people and lower income people really count on access to books, videos, computers and the internet. We did manage to get the city council to fund our larger branches for 7 days a week.

      Once a year the whole system shuts down for 7 days but we’ve gotten used to that. King County does have a great system but I am far away from any of their branches. They used to do free inter-library loans with SPL but now they charge for that service.

  7. lena

    Both my local library as well as the awesome downtown one have cut back on their hours and it has definitely taken adjustment time. I used to have specific times Id go to the library and I’ve had to change all that because of early closures ):

  8. I love my library, for all their faults! It makes me so sad when I hear of libraries closing or cutting back on hours and/or acquisitions. :(

  9. I love the library here. So far in Atlanta, it seems to be the most well-run public service we have (and on an interesting side note, Margaret Mitchell’s father was one of the men responsible for establishing our public library here). I hadn’t had a library card for years, and now I don’t know how I would do without it. My only complaint: I wish people were a little more respectful of the books! I also completely agree with your rant–of course, I also feel that way about our public schools suffering for lack of funds. Amazing where we choose to put our money in this country.

  10. I agree when it comes to libraries. I think many don’t understand what libraries do for democracy. Out here our main library is now closed on Sunday and Monday because of mass budget cuts. I am so glad to see Topdog/Underdog on your reading list. Happy reading and have a great week!

  11. That cover for The Draining Lake is simply gorgeous! What’s it about?

    • The Draining Lake is the fourth book in a series of mystery/crime novels by Arnaldur Indridason. They are set in Reykjavik, Iceland and I think they are very well written. Plus they are set in Iceland! Glaciers, volcanoes, cold!

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