April 14, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
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Today’s post for the April A to Z Challenge is all about my love of libraries. When I was growing up in small-town Australia, I loved going to the library. My mum used to drive me there every couple of weeks, so I could pick a few books to borrow to keep me occupied. Then, when I was about 10 years old maybe, the library moved locations to be 2 blocks away from my house! Score! I didn’t have to rely on good old mum anymore; I could walk down whenever I wanted. And walk down I did! I moved to Melbourne for university three weeks before I turned 18, and until that time I was a regular at that library.
When I was at uni, my reading for pleasure dropped off a bit. Okay, it dropped off A LOT. I was doing so much reading for uni that the last thing I wanted to do was read in my downtime. Aside from Harry Potter and Jodi Picoult’s books, I really didn’t read much at all between 2006 and 2012 while I was studying. I also wasn’t a member of a library in Melbourne for a REALLY long time and my income was low (ie non-existent), so my access to books other than those for uni was pretty limited.
In 2010ish, I joined the Yarra Plenty Regional Library (YPRL), but I didn’t start borrowing books from there until about 2012 – I have no idea why it took me so long, probably my procrastinating nature at work again! It’s only recently that my income has increased such that I can afford to regularly buy books, but YPRL has been my godsend. The range of books is AMAZING, and it’s rare that they don’t have something I want to read. They’re also really open to buying books as requested by their patrons, so even if they don’t have it they’ll likely get it if requested.
YPRL has so many branches, many of them in close proximity, so I have been known to go to more than one branch in a day! They also partner with other library corporations in Victoria to share books, without having to do an inter-library loan, and this broadens their catalogue immensely. They also have an e-book library, which can be accessed using the app Overdrive on my iPhone and iPad, which I love – if they don’t have the physical book, chances are they have access to the e-book. The library staff are all very welcoming and inviting, and I love going there. They also do all these great activities for the region, for children, young adults and adults, and also for people of different ethnicities. It’s a very multicultural area and it’s great that that’s catered to.
I’ve since moved away to regional Victoria for work, but my parents still live in the area so I’m still a frequent visitor. When I moved away, the first thing I did was join the library in my new town, the Goldfields Library Corporation.
Their main library in Bendigo has recently been renovated, and it’s beautiful. The staff are lovely and the space is great for reading. Unfortunately, the catalogue does not appear to be as extensive as YPRL’s catalogue, and it’s rare that I can find a book that I’m looking to borrow. Maybe this library has less of a focus on YA literature, which is usually what I like to borrow. As such, YPRL still remains my main library even though I don’t technically live in the area anymore 🙂
I still buy a lot of books and let’s face it, that’s never gonna change! But it’s so convenient to have an awesome library in my (parent’s) area where I can access great books whenever I want 🙂 God help me if they ever move away from the area, not sure what I’ll do then!
What about you? Do you borrow books out from the library or do you prefer to buy them?