I have a really bad habit of returning books late which is why I stopped going to the library. I started visiting my local libraries with my grandchildren this summer. I knew about the budget struggles and the threats to close many of the branches however I was saddened to see what had become what was once my private get away.
With the advent of eBooks, Netflix, the Redbox and the availability of the internet at just about every fast food restaurant around many people have cut back visiting the library. On my most recent visits I saw signs of the library trying to re-invent itself. The Miami-Dade County Coral Reef Branch had a soda and snack machine inside, on a prior visit I had notice people eating and drinking while serfing the net.
Besides access to laptops and internet, which I did not need, there is no reason for people to visit the library however there has to be more than a coke machine to generate greater public support. Not all libraries are created equal the South Dade Regional Library in Cutler Bay is a little more equipped than the one in my community. This is part of the problem, fast food restaurants with internet are in my community and most people have smart phones thus they do not need to go to the library to do research, watch a movie, play a game or check email.
Libraries are primarily for books and this is why I went. I wanted a book on making candles with soy, unfortunately the books that were available were old. After speaking with a librarian I was told what I already knew, there was no money in the budget for new books. The book I wanted was available at another library however I did not want to go to another library and get it nor did I want to request it be brought to my local library for pick-up. I am ordering a book from Amazon.
As a book reviewer I have a pile of books that I want to give away. I asked another librarian how I could go about donating these books. The process is simple, you just bring them in! Unfortunately, their shelves are full and they have a large number of books that have already been donated. I explained to the librarian: the books I have were written in 2014, this saddened her because the books that donated were older.
Now I could go on and on and on but I think you get the picture OUR LIBRARIES NEED OUR SUPPORT. There are people who give to the Goodwill clothes no one will ever wear, they give to the Salvation Army furniture that no one will ever buy and they give to the library books no one will ever read. We need to stop giving away our junk and give our best.
Yes, the book written in 2000 may be a good book and you may want to give it to the library if it is in good condition however use that How-To books written in 2000 as a doorstop, it is out dated.
I have made a personal commitment: once I have gleaned all that I need to from the Candle making book I will donate it to the Coral Reef Library, and as soon as shelf space is available (I will have to check every month) I will donate the current 4 and soon to be more books that I have reviewed but do not want to keep.
I challenge Book Reviewers to donate some of the books they read to libraries in areas that are in need of new books.