Steacie Science and Engineering Library at Yor...
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Tuesday Top Ten

I live in Storrs, CT.  It is a small town, very rural, but is also a college town (Go Huskies!).  Our town library is terrific.  I grew up loving the library and going regularly with my mom to our local one in the (other) small town where I lived until college, but I love ours even more.  Here’s why:

1.  Free books to read!  (duh!) As well as DVDs; kids’ videos; books on CD and cassette–yes, still; educational PC games to  borrow on CD-rom; toys, puzzles and even stuffed animals for kids; museum passes to various museums,  zoos and aquariums in the area that offer free or discounted admission.

2.  Very friendly librarians who are always ready to help, and are very knowledgeable.

3.  A great play area for my daughter with toys, puzzles and a large supply of board books to borrow or read there.

4.  Lots of great places to sit and read, both for adults and kids.  From armchairs and sofas to the tomato-shaped “house” in the children’s area, there are terrific seats everywhere, with and without moveable writing desks attached.

5.  An ever-changing section of new books.

6.  A playground with swings and equipment, benches, a picnic table, a large green field and beautiful trees to sit under.

7.  Activities!  There are playtimes and storytimes, children’s activities, book groups for teens through adults, a mid-week farmer’s market (to supplement our town’s Saturday farmer’s market on the green), lectures, classes and more.

8.  A helpful and useful website where you can check your account, renew books, reserve books or order them through inter-library loan, and get digital audio downloads of books to borrow for free.

9.  BOOK SALES!  At least twice a year, the “Friends of” our library host used book sales.  Residents donate throughout the year, and they also pull old or out-of-date books from the library shelves.  The sales are amazing.  We are a family of prolific readers, especially Chris who reads at twice the speed of a normal human I think, and for the cost of two new hardcovers at a chain bookstore we can come home from the book sale with two boxes of books of all sorts.  When they’re paperback, that is a LOT of books.

10.  Story Kits.  These are theme-based kits in a large vinyl/canvas bag.  They are for pre-school to elementary aged children, and can be used for fun or to supplement home-schooling units.  Each kit has a number of books (anywhere from 5-12 from what I’ve seen) plus an extra item or two.  The extras could be a puzzle or game related to the theme, a stuffed animal or puppet, or a felt finger-play set.  There is also a handy binder that lists everything in the kit so there is no last-minute scramble to make sure I have everything when it’s time to return it.  Themes range from farms or specific animals to holidays, life events or other interests (trucks, trains, etc).  The library has 20-30 kits and they are all fabulous.

So there you have it.  Those are some of the reasons why I love my library.  How often do you visit yours?