I was doing some research yesterday using Google Scholar and, when I looked up one of the books cited by an article, I stumbled across OpenLibrary. Free and quick to setup, I had the option of borrowing said book in minutes. I was amazed. Libraries are an underrated and under-utilised resource in our local communities. Joining a library is free in many places, including the UK and the US, with the funding coming from local authorities. I remember the excitement of going to the local Blockbuster video (does anyone else remember those days?) with my dad and choosing a DVD or two with my dad for watching at home over the weekend. Dad even rented a PlayStation from there, a device which blew my young mind. Libraries allow you to do the same with books, allowing you to keep them for longer and enjoy them at your leisure, without even having to pay for the privilege of borrowing a book or three or more. It’s become so easy for us to order or pickup books from big online retailers, both physical and ebook, that we often forget that libraries exist in the world. They are often full of a variety of books, many of which you may not have come across. It’s like a humanly-curated selection of books, by staff and local book borrowers who request books in, a sort of natural human algorithm, if you like. So why not take a trip to your local library. You’ll certainly be allowed to look around, and joining - in-library or online - is usually very simple. // 25th January, 2023 —
OpenLibrary and local libraries
Libraries are an underrated and under-utilised resource in our local communities.