There are groups of citizens who are encouraging all of us to reduce our environmental footprint. They want us to reduce, reuse and recycle. They encourage us to shop local; to avoid the the waste of resources that occurs when strawberries are shipped from half a world a way. I’m all in favour of being more efficient with the resources we all use everyday; from water to fuel to food.
Because I support these ideas, I also support public libraries. They are one of the best examples of ways to reduce and reuse. When a public library adds a DVD or an eBook to the collection, that one copy (or several copies depending the demand for the item) can serve a large audience. Instead of that DVD being watched just once or twelve times in a private collection, library patrons may view that DVD hundreds of times.
Then there is the low cost of using an Alberta public library. For a modest fee (generally in the range of $5 to $20, depending on the library), I can access everything in the collection (DVDs, CDs, magazines, eBooks, print books, audio books, and electronic resources) of that library and all the books, and often all of the DVDs and CDs too, from all the other libraries in the province. And don’t get me started writing about the great programs that libraries offer every night of the week.
Think about the last time you bought a print book; how many times did you read it? Once you finished the book, what did you do with it? Did you try to find someone to give it to?*
For the price of just one book, CD or DVD, you get access to hundreds of thousands of books, tens of thousands CDs and thousands of DVDs. The most recent best selling mystery or romance, the most evocative biography, books that will help you learn a new cooking style or a new skill to get a better, higher paying job. DVDs in library collections include not only current movies but also classic films, amazing documentaries, televisions shows, plus music or stage performances.
For me, the best part is that I get to listen, watch or read these wonderful things and then return them and take out more! I don’t have to look for a place to store them for longer than a couple of weeks, because they don’t have end up living with me forever.
So, a library card gives me a huge collection to explore and experience; it saves me money and it reduces clutter in my home.
If you haven’t been to a public library recently, you are missing out! Visit your nearest public library and see what they have for you.
* By the way if that book, DVD or CD is in good condition, your local library would likely be happy to take it off your hands.