My son and I just love almost literally slumming at the library. That is very true.

What other place can you goof off at and gain so much pertinent knowledge of just about

anything you need and want to know. My son and I are very enthusiastic readers and daily

patrons of one of the world's greatest institutions. There isn't a day go by that he doesn't

ask to visit our neighborhood library. It's almost has become our second home. Libraries

are a God-Send to all neighborhoods and communities. Most patrons realize that. One of

the many important things that libraries do is to bring the communities, neighborhoods,

and the people throughout the many cities within the United States together of all races

with common interests, and they are readers and seekers of quality information. And I

also should say that the free use of computers is another addition to getting people out of

their homes and into their libraries who rarely attended. What a collection and wealth of

information and services that we all can utilize with the help of references librarians and

the kindness of other staff.

Whoever said that most people do not read books? I want to tell them that they are

just flat wrong. People are reading more than ever and checking out great and classic

books all the time. When we go out to the library in search of elusive bestseller and if it has

been taken out, we do not panic, especially when we have the option of putting that book

or books on hold for more than a good chance of receiving it later. They always alert me

with an email when my books and other material have arrived for pick up. And that is just

fine with us avid readers. We observe, my son and I, people of all ages, from many different

countries, old and young, just feeling good about themselves while making new friends at

the state of art libraries around the U.S. while checking out and reading quality fiction and

nonfiction materials. As mentioned, the computers are freely available at the libraries with

access of a library card number and can that depends on the standing and status of the

borrower.

There are people breaking necking into the libraries every morning to try and be

the first to get on a computer for a couple hours a day. There are computers for adults and

the children. Some children are pulling up video websites and playing games just like some

adults. However, I think that is only a small percentage of young patrons. There are so

many others who actually are doing legitimate business and work on the library computers,

and they are students, business people, housewives, and writers. For those students and

others who do not have computers at home or internet access, the library has become

another God-Send for the mixed income crowd. Its people from all walks of life and

incomes that are using the computers. They all have a great appreciation for all the

expanding technology libraries have to offer.

One of the things that make Chicago so beautiful is its main learning institution, the

Harold Washington Library along with its outlining branch libraries. I love to walk up to a

reference librarian and try and pick his or her brain on the up coming attractions to the

libraries and the city. What is so amazing is that they are always are so helpful. No matter

what time my son and I walk into the library, and no matter how much that person has on

her plate, he or she is ready to help with everything we ask for, no matter how many other

patrons are waiting in line to be serviced. They always make us feel very special.

The overweight female, in-house, security guard is forever warning the kids

who were just released from of a near-by elementary and high schools for the day, to be

very quiet in the library. It is not always so simple. But she does have to remind them

everyday. Some of the kids actually think that the huge library is the next big playground.

But the hefty security guard steps in to let them know that it is not. After putting the kids

in their place, she immediately finds her brown oak security desk which as no papers or

books on its surface and sits and rests. Her desk is located right next to the main entrance

near the long gray metal and book detector, where patrons walks in and out of the library,

returning and taking out materials. She listens and observes.

We all marvel at the extreme makeover libraries have gone. From our new found

experience with the updated library website, as they have said and written, is very friendly

towards the users. It gives the patron more control over his and her library. Books and

many other materials can be checked out online. And that is neat. They also call it a World

Class Makeover. I have yet to get my kid off of playing games on one of the many accessible

computers and to really take a closer look at his new World Class Library. I'm working on

it. The kid's catalog was created exclusively for kids of all ages, as stated in a brochure

from the Chicago Public Library. What if my son should need help with his nightly

homework, I would have no problem accessing such help. There is always teacher or tutor

available when needed. That is awesome. I also marveled at the refined searchable events

calendar. We can locate books, authors, and other library locations. Once my young son

becomes a teenager, he definitely will be taken part in the teen fiction and nonfiction

offered at the libraries even more than he reads Dr. Seuss. My young son is one of the best

readers I have ever seen.

Since the advent of the makeover, I have seen people patronize the libraries more

For me it's a wonderful sight see ordinary people take advantage of the services their

neighborhood libraries has to offer. It gets at least some people out of the house, which is

good. There is pep in their steps and smiles are wider on those soft faces. That small walk

to the library can be a little exercise for them and that is a lot better than no exercise at all.

Therefore, visiting the public library can be good for the patrons and community's physical

health as well mental health. It's all good.

Libraries are also used for warming centers when severe cold whether engulfs cities.

And it gets really cold, here in Chicago. The homeless too, visits the libraries, some truly

try to over stay their welcome. Sometime the smell can be over-bearing, but we do get

through it with intervention of security. They like to read too. There is always so much

material available. We just gobble up everything that is not nailed down. I love getting the

newsletters about the libraries informing me on what is latest that is going on.

I may never rent or buy another movie again. It has become so much easier just to

put them on hold if they aren't already available from inside my home library. And also

we're just a click away from renewing a book or DVD. My son loves to take out movies

also, as long as some of them are Disney animations. And he loves musicals. This latest

makeover is just great for movie lovers of all ages. Libraries have become friendlier and

that is what keeps the patrons always coming back.

As I mentioned earlier, when my son and I visit the library and that's almost every

day, we always expect and get courteous treatment. And we do. There is always a librarian

for every patron seeking help on just about anything at all pertaining to the library. We

can always call the Reference and Information Service if we are baffled about something. I

love using the expanded Interlibrary Loan Service. If borrowed materials are one day late

or more, borrowers can expect to pay fines that are more then reasonable for time the

materials are checked out. When I registered my son for his first library card, the clerk

behind the circulation desk was so gracious and prompt. My son had his card in no time.

Libraries purchase the current bestsellers and other popular materials for the

communities to feast on. In the library, I always expect complaints and other problems to

be resolved within 48 hours or whenever deemed possible. The staff always does their best

to make the expanded library system work for everyone. They want us to always

understand that library customers who are children, have the same rights and

responsibilities as the adult library customers.

When my young son and I walk into the library, we always expect a clean, safe,

and reasonably quiet building. And it never let us down. Whether we are doing research or

just wasting time, the library experience is one we will always welcome.

Libraries are built constantly throughout America and each one has its own

uniqueness. Libraries could not exist without the community, and the community

would be totally lost without a good library. Taking my son to the library has greatly

approved his grades is school. Therefore, I'm totally indebted to our community library

and they indeed has been a God-Send.

As patrons, we know and try to make sure of what library material we have

borrowed at any time. We always make it a big deal to return them on time to avoid fines

and show courtesy to all others patrons. We also expect others to return material on time,

even if the material just happens to be on hold. All borrowed material has to kept in good

condition for all other future users of the public libraries. Eating and drinking are not

allowed in the library, and many patrons really do comply with that. If something like that

went on, it could damage library materials and attract bugs. It is one the strict rules of the

library. But I have noticed many people bringing in their cell phones. The phone starts

ringing with musical tones, soon the patron begins chatting away with no regard for the

rest of us. Suddenly a library staffer politely approaches that person and asks him or her to

read the signs on the no cell phone policy in the library. Some people still have to learn to

follow the rules not to disturb others in the library with their cell phones or noise of any

kind. However, it does not always happen that way. Someone has to intervene, usually it's

the staff and they are always steadfast and helpful in the same instant.

As writers, the library is almost like our second home. I'm sure that some of the

friendly staff sometimes wonder if my son and I really do have a home. Yes, we do have a

home, we just love the library. Even though a lot people do attend the libraries, however,

we are a bit sad because my son's friends hardly ever step foot inside of the library. They

go to his school and some are his classmates, but they never are seen at the library, at least

not as much as we are seen patronizing the place. I hope that will change.

We will always love and respect the body of information, sources, resources, and

services that are freely available at the library. The tremendous amount of knowledge is

endless and beyond. Libraries will be here forever, and as long as we can, my son and I will

continue to goof off in the library however, in a very positive and productive way.

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