I love libraries. So much that I wrote about it. Growing up, my mother would take us kids to the library at least once a week...sometimes 4 times a week. We certainly took advantage going through more books and movies than your grandma has in her lifetime. I think that's where it all started. Thanks, Mom! Now here's why you should show your library some love:

1. You can explore your interests for free
With a library card in your possession, you not only have access to thousands of books, but also magazines, newspapers, DVDs, music or books on CD, the internet, sheet music, and more. You also have opportunities to attend free classes ranging in topics from language to computers to yoga. All for free.99

2. Libraries foster community development

Walk into your public library and you'll be surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds. Libraries are places where people come to know themselves and their communities.

3. Libraries are culturally relevant architectural structures

Library buildings are rich in symbolism, whether they are architecturally grand or the simplest of rooms tucked into a city government building. They communicate to the public our underlying values: that libraries, information, and shared community space matter.

4. Access to the arts for all

Despite the rising costs of concerts and theater tickets, public library events are often offered free of charge. Many libraries showcase art, which provide access to non-mainstream points of view and give voice to local artists. 

5. Librarians rock at their job
Often over-looked, but a valuable resource are librarians. Full of knowledge and willing to help, librarians are trained to research and help readers locate items on a shelf and within databases. 

6. Libraries serve as the "people's university"
Libraries are still the authority for reference material, as much as people think Wikipedia is a source for factual information. In a time when education is increasingly expensive, public libraries provide information and educational opportunities for all people, regardless of socioeconomic status.

7. Utilize online databases for free

Sounds boring, but access to subscription databases where you can locate peer-reviewed journals, encyclopedias, and other resources are priceless when you're a student. And I thought I would never use EBSCOhost again...

8. Learn how to create your own content

Increasing numbers of libraries provide spaces and services that meet the needs of people who want to learn how to set up blogs or podcasts, create their own zines, and so much more.

9. Career resources
Libraries have a host of career and job-search materials, sponsor presentations from human resources experts, and offer help filling out online applications.

10. Buy cheap books & music during used book sales
Now that you've had the chance to discover your favorite author by checking out free material, you can snatch up your favorite book that you'd love to own at your library's used book sale. 

I can't wait to pass this tradition on to my own kids someday. If you have anything to add to my list, leave a comment below! 

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