The Joys of Public Libraries
posted March 4, 2012 4:04 PM by Maya Bery
For someone who grew up going to the public library on a near weekly basis and then spent two years overseas in a library wilderness, moving to Boston has been nothing short of a heavenly experience.
As a Boston resident, I am entitled to borrow books from any of the branches within the Boston Public Library system (extensive in its own right), and I am allowed reciprocal privileges through the Minuteman network as well. What this means is that I basically have any library between here and New Hampshire at my disposal, through the wonders of the OPAC and interlibrary loan.
In addition to the countless hours of personal pleasure the BPL and Minuteman libraries have afforded me, they have also played a central role in my GSLIS academic career.
In reference, I had to interview a public librarian and describe the library's reference services. In cataloging, it was a group field trip to the Cambridge Public Library to examine the ease of finding a book without consulting the OPAC. For children's and young adult literature, the libraries offered me a great way to save money on purchasing books for class, since all the assigned books could be easily borrowed ahead of time. This semester, in youth services for young adults, part of the coursework includes creating a community analysis, a community needs assessment, and designing programming for a real library. It's one of the beauties of going to library school in an area blessed with a multitude of public libraries.
We are incredibly lucky to have such a vibrant public library system here in Massachusetts, and if you're not taking advantage of all these systems have to offer, you're missing out.