For the love of libraries

One of the best parts of moving to New York has been access to the libraries here.

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Wherever I go, I love exploring the libraries of a place. Even in Japan, when I couldn’t read a majority of the books in the library, I could wander around the shelves and look at the pages and covers of books and wonder about them.

Since moving here, I’ve applied for three library cards. (To briefly explain, New York City is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. New York Public Library operate in three of the boroughs, but Queens and Brooklyn each have their own separate library systems.)

5 Reasons I love libraries more than ever:

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1. Audiobooks.
With a library card, I can easily check out e-audiobooks from the public library and download them to the Overdrive app on my phone. Sometimes there’s a holding list, and it can be inconvenient when the loan expires at the end of 14 days, but overall, it’s as wonderful as Audible without the $14.95/month price tag. Also, in New York, you get so much subway time, finishing a book in 14 days is all too easy.

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2. E-books.
Easily downloaded to your Kindle or tablet, the e-book selection in libraries is great for recent books and classics. If your loan expires while you’re reading the book, the application has your place saved for next time you download it.

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3. Visiting and Browsing.
This is actually my favorite activity, but I don’t do it as much as the first two on this list because there is not enough time in the day (even when the Mid-Manhattan library branch is open until 11:00pm weeknights). The selection you get from walking down the aisles, reading titles on spines, and just picking out what looks interesting is so different from what you’d find only through the internet.

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4. The Exhibits
The New York Public Library’s main branch in Bryant Park has a series of curated art and manuscript exhibits. Many of them are fascinating collections to see. Currently, some of their exhibits are 100 Years of the Picture Collection: From Abacus to ZoologyCentral Park: Mapping Landscapes, and Printing Women: Three Centuries of Female Printmakers, 1570–1900. The picture above is from the Printing Women exhibit. There were some beautiful engravings and calligraphy there.

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5. The New York Public Library Digital Collection
All documents scanned at a high resolutions and discoverable in fascinating changing ways thanks to NYPL Labs. The digital library collections is a massive hoard of inspiration waiting to be discovered. If I can’t seem to think creatively, I love to browse through the collection and find random connections between various galleries. Check it out, it’s well worth a browse!

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5 thoughts on “For the love of libraries”

  1. Libraries are such magical places. It’s crazy to think they’re FREE! I often frequented the library up in Vermont but haven’t done so in Miami…mainly because I don’t have my own car down here so it’s not nearly as easy to access. But I failed to think about the audio book component which wouldn’t require a car! Hmmm, maybe when we’re down here next winter I’ll have to get on top of that…

    1. I know! Benjamin Franklin would be proud of all the free libraries today. Do you still have your card for the Vermont library or the New Orleans library? You could potentially still be able to check things out electronically if you have your card information. I know I still check things out of NOPL even though I don’t live full-time in NOLA anymore.
      That’s tough that the Miami library is hard to get to. 🙁 I hope you can figure out a solution, maybe in CT?

      1. I DO have both of those library cards, so that’s such a good point. I’ll have to get on their online systems and check it out…thanks for the suggestion! YES, in CT I’m confident I’ll once again have access to a library. Looking forward to that for sure!

  2. Soooo… I’m just creeping through your blog…

    Love this! I’m so glad you’re taking advantage of the library 🙂 Has the reading room opened up again, in the Central library?

    1. Awww, thank you Yvonne! I love libraries! To be honest, I’ve been considering library science as well recently. xD

      The Rose Reading Room is still closed. 🙁 It’s definitely a bummer. I’ve never seen it! I think it’s expected to open fall of this year though. So you’ll have to visit NYC again!

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