Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Academic and Public Libraries: Why Not Use Both?!

Here we are, recommending that you join and use a local public library, but please know that we want to see you here, too.  Holman is the best place to find resources and assistance for most of your school assignments – that is our mission – but when it comes to movies; music CDs; audiobooks; books on home repair, gardening, child care, or personal finance, or even novels, the public libraries have us beat.  That is because public and academic libraries fulfill different purposes. 
There is a lot of overlap, too, but belonging to additional libraries gives you more options for rare or popular items. For example, if you want the script of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, and both of Holman’s copies are out – maybe it’s a class assignment – you can get it from the public library: seven branches of KCLS (King County Library System) own it and, if you can wait a few days, you can even have it sent to the branch nearest you. If you want to read to your toddler, Holman has a small collection in that area, but the public libraries have thousands of children’s books and videos, not to mention story hours and games.  Holman has a good, small collection of feature-film DVDs, but again: the public libraries give you access to many thousands of movies, old and new.
So, which library should you join?  Auburn? Kent? Downtown Seattle? Most public library branches in our area are part of larger systems, and when you join, you belong to the whole system; you can have materials from any branch sent to the one that’s most convenient for you, within that system.  Not only that, but most people (depending on where you live) can join more than one public-library system without paying a fee. There are no limits on age or citizenship but, in order to get a borrower’s card, you will need proof of your address and a picture ID. 

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