When it comes to the Pierce County Library, I'm a little late to the party.
Or maybe I just felt too old for it.
When I was a kid, my mom signed me up for a library and I loved it. My school was within walking distance of the South Tacoma branch on 56th Street, so I'd always have books on order and participated in the Summer Reading Program until I was too old for it.
After I graduated high school and left Tacoma for Seattle, my library card (and $5 overdue book fee) got lost somewhere in a box at Mom's called "Lauren's Stuff." I had to buy expensive text books at Seattle University every quarter (that I'm probably still paying for with student loans) and any leisurely reading time I had was gone.
As an adult out of college who likes to stay well-informed (and entertained), I make a point to read for pleasure now. But, somewhere along the way, I got stuck in the rut of buying a book at Barnes and Noble every time I wanted to check out something new. Now I have a bookshelf full of half-read titles that cost me at least $10 each. I have some favorites that I've reread or kept because of notes in the margins, but most have been lent out to friends.
The other day, I was getting ready to venture out to the nearest bookstore when I realized something - I live kitty-corner from a Tacoma library and I've never even been inside.
That was such an embarressing moment for me! I write about the Pierce County Library all the time - as a local reporter I know what resources are available there.
But I never took advantage of the opportunties myself.
So instead of driving to a bookstore, I walked myself over to the library. I decided on William Faulkner's A Light in August, a classic I've always meant to pick up but never did. (I've probably even owned this book at some point. Doh!)
My library had a pretty limited adult section, but I was reassured by the librarian that I could manage my account online and order a book through their website from the downtown location (where all the hot new titles live) and pick it up at the branch in my neighborhood. I can also browse the latest People magazine without getting dirty looks in line at the grocery store, order CDs, DVDs and listen to music online.
All for free.
You're probably saying to yourself - this blog post is ridiculous because I already know all these resources are available. DUH. But, if you're like me, maybe you've forgotten about it. Or didn't realize it applied to you.
You may be late to the party like me, but there's something for every person - and age group - at the Pierce County Library.