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My First Library Card

The Pierce County Library isn't just for kids. Duh.

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.

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Jennifer Chancellor October 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I have had a PCL card since I was about four, but I only recently rediscovered the fabulousness that is the library. FREE BOOKS. I love the Overdrive program that lets you check out Kindle books. There are so many that I want to read but not enough to shell out the money to buy them from Amazon, and PCL has a lot of them! It's so easy! Yay for reading!
Lauren Padgett October 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I realized when I looked at the PC titles online I own a ton of the books they offer - including 'Gone Girl' and '50 Shades of Gray,' two of the most popular books out right now. I read them both over a week and spent at least $25 combined (purchased at an airport book store - worst choice ever!) Now I know better - I can just check them out for free! I feel stupid it took me this long to have such a revelation... but, it is what it is :)
Jennifer Chancellor October 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I totally got "50 Shades" from the library. I refused to pay money to read about anyone's inner goddess.
S A October 02, 2012 at 02:13 PM
PCL librairies have free wi-fi during open hours. Free passes to local museums. Check out magazines on just about any subject. Read foreign language books and newspapers. The online website is awesome ... http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/ ... Friends of the Library have book sales at bargain prices. You might find brand new books to give as gifts at the Lakewood Library sale Oct 19-20th. The daily calendar is full of interesting items.
Katrina Minton-Davis October 03, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I also have rediscovered the library. I was terrible about returning books on time and would always have late fees. Now I get text reminders on my phone so I won't forget when items are due. It's awesome! I can also reserve books online and have them sent to my local library to pick up. It's a huge convenience. And...there are so many online resources available. I use the Dunn & Bradstreet website frequently for work purposes and it's free through the librarys website. I love my library!

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