September 16, 2016

Random Friday: My Local Library

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I think I'm very fortunate because I have access to two public libraries - one when I'm at home in Virginia and one when I'm at school in Kentucky. The one at home is a bit lacking in the new YA department (which stinks because I have the most reading time when I'm home for break). But the one at school is quality.

They were closed for a couple months last winter as they finished the move to the new location, but I've seen the new location and it's amazing. The library serves an entire county, so the facility is HUGE. Their YA section is filled with books, bookish things, and other stuff that makes it a cool hangout. Plus they offer this service called Library-in-a-Box where you can request books with a particular library card and they'll deliver them to a locker set-up in a couple different locations (you have to choose your location when you sign up). There's one in my university's town that's a ten minute walk from my dorm! And in general, they get a lot of the new YA titles, which satisfies me. If only I had more time for reading when at school...

I started thinking about what makes a good local library to me. They have to involve themselves in the community somehow, I think, and make sure it's not too hard to gain access to the books. With Library-in-a-Box and long checkout times, the Kentucky library definitely wants to make sure people can enjoy books. I've also seen announcements for different events on their website, although I never really pay attention because most of them wouldn't be up my alley.
I think a good library has got to have a lot of books - and they need to get the newest ones. Backlist is very important, but a lot of teens will see the new books shelves at Barnes & Noble or Joseph-Beth (or Books-a-Million or wherever) and will then go hunt those books down at their local library. 
A good library will have books by local authors. I'm not saying they have to stock all self-published authors, but it's good to show support of your community by having books by authors from your state (one of the Kentucky library's flaws is that it doesn't have any of Gwenda Bond's books, and she is most definitely a Kentucky author). Those authors can sometimes come do events at your library, which gets the community involved and interested.

So what do you like about your local library? What makes a good public library?

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