Ok folks, raise your hand if you have been to the library in the last year? The last 5 years? If you are right now, actually trying to pin point the last time you ventured into a library it might be the last time you were in school. This date might also be when your children were younger. Maybe recently if you have young children and some sort of maternity or paternity leave. Hopefully this is a place you have frequented recently, and if not there here is my sincere urging that you go out and get yourself a library card this year.
Looking to expand your consciousness, for a mindful boost? A great place to access multiple sources of inspiration without costing a bunch of money is your local library. You can also make copies, use the internet, read with your children, discover local history, download eBooks, the roads are endless. You can discover new talents, nourish and cultivate things you used to love, find books on cooking, mindfulness, cats… anything you fancy.
I recently discovered the again while working 60% as a high school teacher. I have two days off and on some of these days I needed to do grading that I did not have time to finish and work. So I would drop my partner off at school and post up at the library. Needless to say, I have explored more than just how well my students are grasping the concepts we talk about in class. I am even finding things to bring into the classroom.
Turns out you can borrow up to 100 books at a time, my number has not gotten that high, but I usually have somewhere in the range of 5-15 books out at a time. I also recently found some of my school books at the library, so I borrowed instead of buying, suck it text book industry! With up to 4 renewals at 3 weeks each you can keep that bad boy for a nice chunk of time.
The library does not cost you any money unless you are late returning a book. Recently I was able to pay my fine with canned food too! Usually all you need is a local address and you can become a card carrying member right on the spot.
The Santa Cruz library also offers free or discounted admission to the local art museum and other cultural places of interest on certain days. I also take huge advantage of the interlibrary loan action where they will deliver your requested book to your designated library. This is a huge asset to have access to what you want without having to drive all over, let them do the driving and they will file it for you with your name on it.
I have not taken too great advantage of the ebook situation. There is something about having a book in my hands that I can carry around and put a bookmark in. I also do not want to spend too much time reading in front of this screen, too much time is already logged at work and finding my own news. One thing I am stoked about is audio books in the form of good old fashioned CD’s for the car! Most libraries have a online presence where you can access your account and request or renew books without leaving your home.
Here is to you opening some books, listening to some on tape… exploring what your local library has to offer. To expanding your mind and those of the people around you.
Currently I am reading three books: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey, Coming to our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn (a biggie, 600+) and one I had to get at the local second hand bookstore A.D. After Disclosure, When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth about Alien Contact by Bryce Zabel and Richard M Dolan.
What are you reading?