Monday, July 22, 2013

Making Library Choices Work For You

I came across a social media discussion about book recommendations for a certain genre. Aha! This would work for me as well so I jotted down ten titles/authors. I was curious to see how my local libraries compared. (Yes, I have membership in two library systems since I reside near the county border.) I've had a hard time finding clean reads and hoped for referrals for new-to-me national market authors.

The two county libraries were fairly comparable. Both neglected the same two books on my list. The larger library system included one title that the other did not, and more choices of format (print, e-book, or audio-book). When a search turned up with no matches, I noticed a place on the site where I could suggest a library purchase. Hmm. I need to take advantage of requesting rather than feeling stuck with what is on the book shelves. 

I typically take home extra books/CDs so I can discard the distasteful or unappealing ones and try another. This not only wastes time, it records the 'dumb' books I picked up as being used, thus perpetuating similar purchases. I need to be a smarter shopper at my library. A little homework in advance goes a long way to getting what we want. Most libraries let patrons reserve titles and notifies them when the book becomes available. 

Libraries also offer special programs of interest such as writer's workshops and group book discussions. Participate or let them know your interests. Sometimes they just need your ideas. What special things does your library do for you?

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