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The Library Still Rocks! Yes, I Like The Free Movies And More

by Debt Destroyer on August 13, 2009

I love my library! I know, I know…I already wrote this post a few months ago.  But indulge me.

Library-local-books-shelvesThe reason for my outburst is that my town is looking at replacing our library.  A few days ago they held a meeting to gather input in what we citizens would like in a new library.

Me and a bunch of old ladies showed up.

I was relieved that they all had a wonderful ideas (meaning they wanted the same things that I did).  Part of me was worried that the general public would think that the library’s time has passed.  That we no longer need an actual “library” anymore now that we’re in a digital age.

Of course informational meetings are hardly attended by the general public.  The only people who usually show up at these meetings are supporters. The critics come later.

But with that said, I was deeply impressed by how much these people cared about their library.

My own appreciation has grown since my last Library post.  Back in March when I came out of the closet as an avid library user, I mentioned how we loved all the programs they had for our children.  And we still do, but since then we have started to use it more for ourselves.

Mainly the movie section.

I wish I could say that I was checking out a bunch of intellectual books, but with me in school there’s little time for recreational reading.   I did have a summer reading list but now that I’m down to a couple of weeks before classes begin again, I’ve decided that I’ll tackle that challenge next summer.

If only I read during the time Mrs DD & I would watch movies, I’d have had made quite a dent in that reading list.  But instead we caught up on a bunch of flicks (off the top of my head):

  • Pan’s Labyrinth – Very imaginative visuals…not for kiddies.
  • Inside Man – A very cool Spike Lee joint.  I love a good heist film.
  • Munich – I missed out on this Spielberg film when it was in the theaters. Turns out I didn’t miss much.
  • The Queen – My wife really liked this one.  I thought it was OK.
  • Rachel Getting Married – This was on the depressing side of things, but we still liked it.
  • Wendy & Lucy –  As a dog lover, I could relate.
  • Australia – Another one my wife really liked.  I’m pretty sure it was because of Hugh Jackman (again I thought it was OK)
  • Happy Go Lucky – Should have been called Happy Go Boring
  • The Bucket List – Clever idea, but we thought it swung and missed (we felt the same about the current release Funny People).
  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid - A classic that I felt like watching again.  If you have the time, I recommend the special features.

But in addition to a pretty decent, but very picked over movie section, my local Library also has a wide variety of TV shows on DVD available for checkout.   One show in particular intrigued us because we’ve heard so much about it. But because of our limited rabbit ear reception we were never able to watch it ourselves.

Lost

We now refer back to June as “the Lost month”.  We watched season 1-4 in about 3 1/2 weeks.  Obviously we were totally hooked.  We had all the signs of addicts.

  1. Our sleeping pattern changed - Much like our Spring Break Adventure, we wouldn’t start watching them until the kids were in bed. With the sun staying out later, that meant we were hardly starting before 10PM. Next thing we knew it would be 1:00 AM, and we’d be zombies the next day…until we got our next fix.
  2. It consumed our thoughts –  Just because we’d go to bed at 1:00 doesn’t mean we’d go to sleep.  We’d have to digest and discuss what we just watched.  Looking back most of our conversations we had were about Lost. My wife even had dreams starring the Lost characters (she promises me that weren’t all about Jack).
  3. We were willing to pay! – It wasn’t until we got to Season Three that we discovered something horrible.  Other people were also checking out the DVDs.  How dare they! Thanks to this development I figured out how to put items on reserve.  But there were times that we didn’t have the patience to wait for our fellow fans to return the next disc. So we had to go elsewhere…BLOCKBUSTER. June’s expense report shows the damage, all $9.51 of it.

But we ran into a bigger problem.  Season 5 is not on video yet.  And won’t be until this December.

Nooooooo!

We were really hoping to catch up before Season 6 starts in early 2010.  They have full episodes on ABC.com, but it looks like they only have the last 6, so we’ll have to go elsewhere.  Like to my wife’s sisters house.  Her and her husband happen to have season 5 on DVR.  So a Lost Party is in our future.

I hope they are ready for a marathon!

Just today I was perusing the video section when a gentleman called his wife and asked her what show they wanted to get started watching.  He brought up a few, including Lost.  When he was off the phone I warned him that if he chose Lost, it would take over his life.

I think I creeped him out, so I grabbed a few movies( The Lucky Ones, Frost/Nixon, & Body of Lies) and got out of there before they asked me to not come back.

But that’s one of the great things about a library.  Getting to mingle with the public.

3021591726_4a3e48b058_m1Earlier this summer, Flexo @ Consumerism Commentary had a great post talking about how much money a person could save by using their library. There was even a calculator which showed how much you saved. According to it I save $186.50 a month.  I think that is a little high(the books we get are usually kid books), but I don’t question the fact that I do save a considerable amount.

As I sat there in that meeting with the old ladies, I had the thought of saving money and all the other advantages of using the library in my head.  I was ready to throw them out there if needed.  But like I mentioned earlier, everyone there loved the Library just as much, if not even more than I did.

In fact they had some unique ideas to add to the new one(if we get one).

  • Indoor playground – It gets awfully cold here in the winter, so they thought it would be nice to give the kids a place to hang out. The hope is that they’d read just as much as they play.
  • Music Practice Rooms / Private Study Rooms -  As a former band nerd (trombone) I would’ve never even thought about this as an option.  I just figured everyone tortured their family like I did when they learned an instrument.
  • Coffee Shop – They thought this would help raise money.  Currently they have a free will donation for coffee, I guess that must not be bringing in too much.

I have to admit being blown away by the blue haired crowd.  I would’ve never thought of any of that stuff.  Now I’ll also admit that the fuddy-duddy in me thinks that only the Study Rooms are a good idea.  I don’t like the idea of a playground, or a coffee shop.  As much fun as I think the library is now, I don’t want it too be too much fun.

Does that make any sense?

What I mean to say is, that I’d be tickled pink if they just kept what they have and expanded it a little. But clearly that’s not thinking outside the box. I guess I need to call up my grandma to get her opinion.

While I do that, how about I ask you,the trusty Happy Rock readers, what would be some features of the perfect library if you could design one?   Do you think that a modern library with a bunch of bells & whistles would be utilized more than a traditional one?  Do you utilize your local library? Do you even know where the nearest library is?

Until next time,

-DD

P.S.  Remember that I haven’t seen Season 5 yet, so please no spoilers in the comments!