There are plenty of things that we who work in libraries assume are obvious to outsiders. Given the fact that I’m asked at least once a week whether a library card is free, though, I think there are some facts that would be worth revisiting. If you haven’t entered a library in years, or even decades, here are five pieces vital information about your public library that might surprise you.
1. If you live in Lennox and Addington, library membership is absolutely free.
Just drop into a branch, and a staff member will sign you up for a free library card that will give you access to tens of thousands of physical items and millions of digital items. It is paid for through your tax dollars. Non-residents pay a $5 annual fee.
2. Our programs and events are free and open to everyone.
You do not need to register for a library card to participate in our programs. Everyone is welcome. We only offer one, maximum two, events a year that we charge an entrance fee for – and they are never events for children. We have stuff going on every single day – just check our website at www.countylibrary.ca to see for yourself.
3. You don’t need to spend time in the library to take advantage of library services.
After picking up your library card, you never have to step foot in the library again (although we certainly encourage you to drop by!) as our online collections are as robust as ever. If you only read e-books (or audiobooks, or are only interested in movies, music, comics, et cetera), you can take advantage of library services without leaving your house.
If you think you could be this kind of library user, I’d encourage you to register for a temporary library card online. This will give you’re the opportunity to try out our virtual services before needing to visit the library (just once) in-person.
4. You don’t even need to be a reader to take advantage of library services.
Reading and books are fundamental to library services, and one of our primary purposes is to encourage literary development in the community – but we offer plenty more than just books! We have DVDs, digital movies/TV/music, free public computers and WiFi, plenty of non-traditional items like museum passes, bicycles, telescopes, and money-saving gadgets like energy readers.
5. Libraries are not necessarily quiet places.
While we try to maintain spaces that are suitable for patrons to study, read, and contemplate, the era of strict shushing is pretty much over.
Since we have been incorporating more hands-on programs and lively workshops into our program offerings, things have been known to become downright noisy at times.
If any of these facts surprised you, unfortunately you are not alone! Help us spread the word that the public library has plenty to offer every member of the community.