Those of you who know me in real life know that I love the library. It is, and has been for my entire life, my number one resource for books, movies, and magazines (in that order). I go to the library once a week to restock–and sometimes pay my overdue fines (which I like to consider a willful donation to the fine establishments I frequent all over Monroe County). I rarely buy books because I go through them so fast (this is major bragging, I know, but it’s true) and since I am unable to rent a movie from Redbox without keeping it at least one extra day by mistake, I prefer to spend my overdue fines at the library.
I also use the library to download e-books to my Kindle before I go on any kind of vacation or travel. Usually I’ll look for popular books a few weeks ahead of time, since there’s often a wait list for new releases.
This is a little ridiculous, but the smell of the original Softsoap hand soap (the orange kind) always brings me immediately back to the library of my childhood. My family used to check out STACKS (and I mean serious stacks) of books to read every week. I’ve just always been a really big reader–from awful(ly good) beach reads, to science fiction and fantasy, to the classics, historical fiction, and biographies and books spanning cultures far away from my own. I read something a while back that people who are able to speed read (and who don’t need to sound out every individual word in their head while reading) find reading much more enjoyable and less laborious, and I’m so glad that I happened to inherit/learn that skill.
It’s also important to me that you know that I won the third grade frequent reader contest by a landslide (also the timed hula hooping contest in fourth grade–my only athletic win of all time, ever and ever, amen).
The Community Manager at Webucator from my home city of Syracuse reached out to me about helping to promote libraries, life-long learning, and free courses about everything from Adobe, Microsoft office, web development (um, yeah, I should probably take some of those) and more. The Fayetteville Free Library is the first of an expanding library partnership in central New York to offer the full course list of Webucator free to library members. Members of the library ask for a voucher that enables them to enroll in any course for free, after which they have 12 months to complete it.
For more information on that (or if you think your library would be interested in partnering with Webucator), read this blog post about the new partnership with the Fayetteville Free Library. Contact information is available there.
Now, for all you non-CNY residents, you get to try some stuff out too! Webucator has a list of tutorials that are always available to anyone (for free!), so these could be a great resource for you, friends or family, or for work. They also have a “Course of the Month” from their self-paced section that you can sign up for for free. This month is an advanced Microsoft Excel course. Excel was the bane of my existence throughout all of the lab sections of my biology/chemistry/physics/statistics classes from undergrad (Fritz had to help me format any type of formula required since mine never worked).
And for Rochestarians, I found a diamond in the rough while exploring Monroe County’s extensive library system this past year (when my clients cancel unexpectedly, I usually stop into the library to do notes/paperwork and minimize driving to my house or office). The Lyell Branch is hands down the best. They have tons of the most recent movies, all the time, and a great selection of books, a lovely staff, and are very welcoming to their urban community. Plus, they have gorgeously fragrant lavender bushes planted in the front. They are definitely not the most beautiful or large library in CNY, but trust me when I say they are the place to go.
The Lincoln Branch Library is another one of my most frequented library stops. Though I don’t use it often myself (I have lots of go-to toys for my PT sessions), they have a toy library that I frequently recommend to my clients that can’t afford to or would prefer not to constantly cycle through toys for their kids.
See? Libraries are the best. Share with me all of your library stories and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I also have a fond memory of Mr. Brown, my elementary school librarian, making us line up at the door based on our likes and dislikes (“whoever likes LIVER AND ONIONS can line up”), and me smugly leaping up to race to the door when he called out for the broccoli-lovers.