Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Librarian: superhero for information-saturation

Each September, as students head back to the classroom, the American Library Association urges people to get and use a library card. Smart people, those librarians.
Here are some reasons why you should be putting a library card to good use:

1. You are already paying for it. During these tough economic times, why would you pay double for something? A 2008 poll showed library usage at an all-time high.
2. Save money. While you may want to own a few favorite titles, do you really need all those books? Anyone who has ever moved will tell you, “Moving boxes of books stinks.”
3. You get to try titles and genres you might otherwise miss. You may not want to plunk down $20 just to find out you that you detest the latest craze in vampire romance novels.
4. Reading broadly makes you smarter. Studies have repeatedly shown that vocabulary development, language acquisition and background knowledge are all improved in those who have been exposed to a variety of information.
5. You can get more than books with your library card. The library offers an amazing array of products and services: DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers, movie nights, computer use, homework help, college prep, after school programs, kid & teen programs, author visits, career planning, and free classes. Many libraries are beginning to feature audio books, eBooks and even eMovies that are downloadable from your home computer.
6. Libraries are better than bookstores. If the bookstore doesn’t have a title or subject you are searching for, you can get it through Interlibrary Loan. This even works for international titles! The library also has 24-hour online access. Bookstores close, but you can access databases and reference information while sitting in your pajamas.
7. Free WiFi. No more wardriving or mocha latte obligations for you.
8. They will bring the books to you. Some libraries will deliver titles you request right to your mailbox and many neighborhoods have bookmobiles. Think of it as the corner ice cream truck, only less fattening.
9. Libraries will give you free money. Most library cards offer perks like discounts to museums, zoos and art galleries in your community.
10. Librarians are hot. While you’re there, getting your shiny new library card, remember to hug the librarian. They hold the keys to unlocking our mass of information, the superheroes of our information-saturated society

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