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Why You Should Go To Your Local Library

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

Local libraries are one of the most amazing places to be in at any given time. From the vast number of books in a maze of shelves to the general feel of being there, there’s something about libraries that just sparks a sense of hope in the world. Even if you aren’t a reader, there are still plenty of reasons to lend your support. So if you haven’t visited your local library yet, here is a list of reasons that you should.

So. Many. Books.

There are so many genres you can choose from. Go solve a mystery with Sherlock Holmes. Get prepared for Halloween with a Stephen King thriller. Learn about the environment. Find a book on self-improvement. Or just sit down with a simple romance book that has you wishing you were in Paris with the love of your life. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the library has you covered.

The crinkly hardcovers

Now, this may just be me, but I hate regular hardcover books. I always take the dust jacket off and end up losing it. Plus, reading hardcover books is a little more difficult because it makes my hands cramp faster. However, I love the noise that hardcovers from the library make because the dust jacket is attached, so I’m not bothered by it. The crinkle really does make the difference.

Great study spot

Libraries are always at a low volume with little distraction (besides all the books you could be reading) so they make a great spot to go study. Sometimes all you need is a little change of location to really be able to focus.

Programs offered throughout the year

To get people to come to the library more, most libraries offer fun programs that you can sign up to participate in. There’s a lot around the holidays to get you excited about both the library and Christmas, but many offer things outside of that. For example, the local library here in Indiana offers an Evening in the Stacks where you can register to have dinner surrounded by books and people who love books. Back home, my library offers many teen programs to promote reading as well as book clubs for those who want to join. All you have to do is take a look at their websites or ask a librarian!

Some offer courses

Most libraries offer courses, whether online or in person, that help you be a more informed adult. Granted, many of them are offered on subjects that we already know like social media or keyboard shortcuts, but sometimes you can find something you may not be so good at like Excel or resume help. There’s no harm in looking around and checking back to see if there’s anything that you could possibly improve upon.

You can volunteer

Whether you need service hours for a Greek organization, are looking to add some community service to your resume, or just help out the community in general, the library has got your back. Many accept volunteers or applications on a rolling basis and would be happy to let you come help them out.

Best of all… it’s (mostly) free!

Regardless of why you’re going, the best part of the library is that it’s free. If you have a working, full-time job, then you’re paying an average of about $7.50 a month in taxes towards the library. However, a new book usually costs over $10 and the library is filled with books. So while you automatically pay to support the library, it’s worth every penny for all the amazing benefits you’re getting above as well as all the ones that aren’t mentioned. Plus, unless you have late fees or lose your card, you never have to spend money that you don’t choose to.

All in all, libraries are great places for such a variety of reasons. Businesses like Amazon want to replace local libraries and make them places where they can sell things and hike up surrounding property values. But libraries are so essential for those who can’t afford their textbooks or need a place to access the internet. They help so many every day, people that Amazon would never be able to help. However, you can use Amazon to your advantage. Some libraries are under Amazon Smile so that every time you buy a book, some of that purchase will get donated to the library that you’ve set the account up with. It’s a great way to support the library if you can’t make it. But if you can, go check out some books or join a program. You never know where they could lead you.

Gabrielle Bonnar is a current undergrad student at IUP who enjoys writing for HerCampus. She enjoys writing articles as a way to express her opinions and experiences throughout her life. Also, this acts as an outlet for her to write about new interests and ideas that she might not be able to express as well through her other artistic mediums. Being a member of Her Campus has strenghtened her abilities as a writer and she is excited to see where this portfolio of pieces takes her in the future. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @typical_guby.