Free Content Jackpot: the Local Library

I’m not sure when the light went off in my head – maybe it was when I realized I had purchased a book that I later decided I hated.  Why pay $16 or more for a paperback that sucks and then give it away or put it out in the front yard in a box marked “Free?”  You can get all the books you need – for free – at the library!

I grew up around the corner from the main branch of my hometown’s public library.  I practically lived there during the summers.  It’s not like the concept of a library is something new to me.  I guess I just got lazy.  Well now I’m a mom, and there are many things I’m lazy about, but spending less money is not one of those things.  Plus, bringing my kids to the library is a great way to a) kill time b) mess up someone else’s place instead of my house and c) teach them about books, responsibility, and public manners.

I have learned that I can’t look for books for myself when my boys are with me because they are still small and need my supervision, but never fear.  During the years when I was foolishly buying books at overpriced big box stores instead of using the library, the system miraculously modernized their functions and now I can simply go online, select the book I want, tell the library which location is convenient for me, and then soon I get an email that says “Ding!  Your book’s ready!”  And I just drive to the local branch and pick it up.  And if the book’s a stinker, well, some other sucker gets to check it out after I’m done.

Imagine my delight when I visited the Agoura Hills Public Library for the first time.  In a building that also houses the civic center and city hall, the library complex is a tasteful Craftsman-style bungalow.  A giant, sprawling bungalow.  The interior is calm and organized, with a spacious rotunda with tiny benches in the children’s section.  Several private conference rooms are available for use by reservation.  The staff is patient and kind, you know, like love.  And…there’s plenty of parking.  Ah, the suburbs.

[photo from City of Agoura Hills website]

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  1. […] had my library card, obtained at the Agoura Hills Library, since shortly after we moved here 6 years ago. I’ve been checking out books and movies for […]

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