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Library Questions

February 22, 2011

Some library questions from the Book Meme LiveJournal comm.

Where is your nearest library? My favorite library is the Ottendorfer branch of the NY Public Library. 

How long does it take you to get there? It’s within walking distance.  And it has the added bonus of being a really pretty old red brick building. I think it’s the oldest continuously used public library building in the city.
How often do you use it? A few times a week, whenever I’ve got a book due or a book I ordered comes in.
How old were you when you started visiting libraries? I’ve been going to the library for as long as I can remember. The animal murals outside the San Fransisco library are about the only thing I remember from a city I was born in and lived in til I was 7.
What’s the first book you remember borrowing from the library? I don’t remember a specific one. As a little kid, I borrowed stacks of picture books.
What’s the last book(s) you borrowed from your library? Right now, I have out The Speed of Dark and Kabul Beauty School.
Where’s your favorite library? What’s special about it? See first answer. I love my lovely Ottendorfer.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in a library? A transvestite who dresses up in lovely 40’s retro style, complete with Andrews Sister hair. I see “her” a lot in midtown. Usually working on the computer and frowning.
Do you like your librarians? Do you even know them? I like my librarians a lot. They tease me when 5 books come in on my reserve shelf at once. “We should start charging you rent.”
What’s the most helpful thing you’ve found (out)in a library? Mostly the space itself- no matter where I am, there’s a library I can be in, which is helpful when I have a gap between appointments and need to spend some time doing something interesting. There’s probably a more concrete informational answer about this, but I check out such a varied collection of things that I can’t think of it.
Do you borrow before you buy, instead of buying, or randomly alongside purchased books? Because I’d spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on books if I let myself; I borrow books instead of buying most of the time. I see it as a way to audit almost any book I’m not sure I’ll love or need to own. Sometimes this turns into “before” I buy, if I read a library book and then decide I need to reread it, quote passages, or have it on hand for friends to borrow. The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon, is one that’s making this transition.

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