Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lunch with the Librarian - 10 facts I learned

Having lunch with another book lover is always enjoyable, but it is even more so when that book lover is the local librarian, Priscilla McAnally. Besides the rapid fire talk of books, books, and more books, I recently learned a great deal about the Paris Public Library.



 Mom taught me to have a healthy love of the library when I was growing up. I read whole sections of children's books, and enjoyed pilfering from the adult sections, too. But with eReaders and the Internet, one must wonder if we have outgrown our need of libraries.  

The answer is a resounding NO! Here is what I learned from Priscilla that surprised me.

1. How many patrons does the Paris Public Library serve a day?

*  About 300. 

2. How many use the Library's computer technology in a month?

*  About 900.

3. How many take advantage of the inter-library program, where patrons can request books borrowed from other libraries?

*  Over 200 a month. 

(That shocked me. I have only used the service a handful of times; I vow to take more full advantage of this in the future!)

4. Can you download eBooks on your eReaders for free with your library card?

*  Yes, (except on your Kindle, as Amazon doesn't support this program, other than with its Kindle Fire). This is through Freading and there IS an APP for that! Now there are major publishers who refuse to allow libraries rights to their books under this service, but don't let this discourage you. This is just your chance to get to know some other great books / authors.

5. Can you download audiobooks for free with your library card?

 *  Yes, through the One Click service. (I love audio books. I like to whistle while I work and audio books are the spoonful of sugar for chore time or work out time.  I am definitely downloading library audiobooks as my Something New in September.)

6. Does the Library charge patrons for their library membership?

 *  Only out of county residents (as most Red River Valley residents know, we have a steady traffic of Folks from Oklahoma).  So if you live in Lamar County, library services are FREE!

7. Does the Library have WiFi?

 *Yes, and you can come use it daily, for as long as you need.

8. Can you download music for free with your library card?

 *Yes, through the Freegal Music Service, and there is an app for that, too. For all of these download services, each library patron has so many credits or tokens that are useable periodically. I am currently listening to my downloads, thank you very much!

9. What is the most popular type of book being checked out?

 *Besides the expected answer (general fiction, especially new fiction titles, non-fiction, then  children's titles) mysteries and westerns are very popular. As a part of her duties, Priscilla goes through the checkout history for the books on the shelves and removes books that haven't been checked out in a couple of years. Mystery and Western genres tend to have long loved keepers that are continually checked out, so those type of books have long shelf lives.  I have also noticed that the eBooks and downloadable audiobooks have a great selection of Christian Fiction and classics of all types. 


10. Does the Library have the 50 Shades trilogy and is it being checked out?

 * Had to include this question, as the trilogy has been purchased by the millions this year, yet some libraries banned the book. The answer is YES and YES.

Paris Public Library Postcard
Now how about this - do you know your Library Etiquette? I'm not talking about the standard "Use Your Whisper Voice," but actual Book Etiquette. For example, you really should turn your books in or pay for them if you lose them. You really should let the librarian know if you have a book accident. (Yes, it happens, even Priscilla has accidentally spilled coffee on a new library book.  So, when it happens to you, just let her know so that she can decide if you need to pay for a replacement. It's only fair.)  But most of all, you really should keep reading, researching and engaging in stories.  It's wonderful for you!  And you really should take advantage of all the story engagement that the Library has to offer FOR FREE!

As you can see, my Lunch With the Librarian was quite enjoyable and informative.  Thanks Priscilla for everything! I look forward to even more with the Library, because I will soon be giving a book review at the Library on Thursday, October 4.  It will be fun, so I hope you will come.   In the meantime, I hope you make it a goal to try something new in your reading this September, and if you don't make it a habit to use the Library, well I hope that is your Something New


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