I returned a bunch of library books yesterday, almost on time. Only one day late; that's pretty good for me. Plus, it ended up being half-fine day---I let them have the whole fifty cents though. They need the money. The building is falling apart, and I'm sure the materials could use a bit of updating. They do pretty well though, in recent months they've added a bunch of DVD's, CD music, and audio books on CD.
As I walked out of the building I was reminded of a local conservative radio host ranting over a news item about the Brookline library looking for more funds through a tax override. Putting aside the debate about taxes and budgets, this guy was totally devaluing libraries saying, "Who uses the library anymore anyway? Everyone uses the internet. There's a Borders bookstore on every other corner." My issue is not to debate how much money they need to operate or who should pay for it (but they have always been publicly supported, hence the name public library!) but to say they are obsolete I think is very elitist and unfair. Not everyone has a "lucrative radio career" and writes for the Boston Herald. Some people actually use the library for books and movies. School kids still use it for references, since Wikipedia is not accepted by most teachers as reputable, and most home computers don't come with subscriptions to Lexis-Nexis. They also serve as community centers, offering story times, and lectures. Ours is now sponsoring a game night for youths and teens to come and have pizza, play board games and socialize.
The town next to us voted down an override and their library lost its accreditation. They can no longer be part of the network, and our library won't lend books to them. It's sad, since they had renovated the building and had a really nice space. I hate the fact that it seems slowly but surely the fabric that holds us together is slowly being eroded as technology advances and our economy evolves.
I admit I don't take advantage of the library a lot. I try to. I go through spurts, end up with books a month overdue, and remember that I can't get one read and returned by the due date. A friend has a problem with the fact that other people's fingers have been all over the book, and God knows where they've been. LOL. A valid point, I guess. I guess I figure the germs have died by the time I pick it up.
Speaking of germs, I had a sore throat for a week, so I finally went to the doctors office. Turns out I have strep. You know, I would have thought I'd have a fever and more symptoms. Granted the throat hurt like a mother... But I suddenly started to feel really shitty, so I figure I must have gone in just in time before I dropped dead of sepsis or scarlet fever. I'm on antibiotics now, and it feels a little bit better, but I am still icky and tired.