My Boston Public Library (BPL) card is old and grey! In the years since I moved to Boston, the cards have become brightly colored. But, I'm proud of my old, grey card. Because of it, I have saved thousands of dollars and hours of time. We are making the BPL library card our Friday Link.
I have a shelf in our living room reserved for the library materials I have out-on-loan. The only time you'll find that shelf empty is when we're going away and I have returned all my library goodies.
Right now, I'm auditioning Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. This is the seventh cookbook I've borrowed this year. With each book, I have an opportunity to sit and really decide how this would fit into an overcrowded food reference library.
Does it offer enough new material that I don't already have in other books?
Are the recipes ones that I will use and recommend to my friends and readers?
Does the writing and photography offer inspiration?
Should I sell or donate another book and buy this one to take its place on the shelf?
Of course, reference books on the topics I write about are only part of the savings.
I use the electronic resources, download audiobooks, get help from librarians in specialized subjects, and use the digital books, photos, and maps the BPL offers to learners from Boston and beyond. I also attend educational programs, exhibits, and public meetings at the BPL.
How much money have I saved? I don't really know but I would estimate that the figure is substantial. What's more, using a shared resource is good for the environment. Using digital resouces is even better.
The BPL is a money-saving, green resource and should be promoted and protected by all who use and love this system of free lifetime learning.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino