I've loved the public library as long as I can remember.
I don't have many early childhood (i.e. preschool age) memories that are clear, but I remember half a dozen distinct trips to the public library from those years and I'm sure they're just a fraction of the visits we made.
By the time I was 9, I was riding my bike the mile or so from my house to the library. I probably would have done it sooner, but that's the age I officially learned how to cross the major four-lane street between home and the library. :)
Some of my happiest childhood memories involve the public library. And flash forward to right now, I'm still loving my public library, where I borrow books, music and movies on a regular basis, thanks to their outreach program for folks like me who are mostly (or fully) housebound.
But right now, I'm especially loving the service they started participating in earlier this year that allows me to legally download three songs per week per library card (and yes, I use my husband's and daughter's, which I was told was legal as long as they agreed to it) from a site called Freegal. I highly recommend checking with your library to see if they participate in this service too. It's awesome! :) I actually set a repeating alert on my ipod to remind me on Saturday nights that it's my last chance to download that week, and one on Mondays reminding I have more downloads available.
You add the free downloads of music I can keep forever to all the other services I can access from home, from e-books to digital movie downloads, and it's really amazing. I could never afford to buy all the library books I read, the library DVDs I watch, the music I'm legally downloading.
And I love that I live in a city that appreciates its libraries as much as I do! Multnomah County Library recently was awarded five stars by the Library Journal, one of only four in the nation in its category. More than 22.7 million items were circulated in fiscal 2010, a record high for any library in the nation serving fewer than a million residents.
It looks like we're going to have to vote next spring on funding for our library, and I'm hopeful that Portlanders will again choose to support a library funding measure. The current local option levy that provides 66 percent of the library's budget expires June 30.
Meanwhile, I hope you all had a good weekend and the coming week is kind to you.
Eds. Note: In case this sounds like a sponsored post of some sort, I want to be clear that I was in no way compensated for this post, nor was I solicited in any way to write it. I was just downloading from Freegal and marveling over the many valuable services I get from my library. I guess it all boils to this: I'm just a girl who loves her library! :)
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