I love to read. I am a regular at the main branch of the Yinzlandia public library. Many of my friends from library school work at Yinzlandia Public Library (YLP) and I've become friends with others both through the people I already knew and by spending so much time there.
I grew up within walking distance of a library and spent many an hour there. Punishment was not letting me go to the library that week. Seriously. When I went to college I worked in the library for two years (edited the college paper the other two). Then something happened. I'm not sure what it was, but all of a sudden I stopped going to the library. I lived in a state with a great public library system, yet I never went. I still read a lot, but mostly I bought books. It was the dawn of Amazon.com and we lived quite near a Borders Books Outlet so that was part of it. After I got married, we moved to Yinzlandia and I once again got a library card.
Jackpot. The book nerd in me could not be happier.
In the 9 years I've lived here, I've checked out thousands of books. I've run into friends there. I've attended programs there. I just now put nine books on my request list. When I think of the money I just saved, I can't believe how lucky I am to live in a place with such an awesome library system.
Just this past fall, a "library tax" was on the ballot to keep the branches of YPL open. Coming from a state where library levies are the norm, I couldn't get over the idea that people weren't willing to fund libraries. Yinzlanders came together and the tax passed, but it was kind of scary for a moment. I can't imagine a world without libraries. Take away my TV, my cable, my DVDs, but you'll pry books out of my cold dead hands.