The Library is EVIL

Yes that is right, the library is just plain EVIL.  They stock just about every movie I could ever want to watch and they have books on every conceivable topic.  Then to top it off if they don’t have the book they will borrow it from another library for me or even just buy a copy.  Then they don’t even charge you anything for all these services except a small fee on my property taxes or a tiny penalty if you return something late.

For a book lover and movie buff like me it’s like handing out free samples of drugs and as long as I keep coming back.  No wonder my family always seems to be going there once a week.  The boys get some books and a movie or two (which is great since you can’t get too sick of a movie that they want to watch over and over when you know it’s going back in one week). My wife and I pick up are holds for the week and return the finished pile of last weeks books and movies.  The addiction is so bad that my wife recently has just recently finished reading the small pile of books she bought after last Christmas with gift cards.  It took her so long because she kept finding other books to read at the library each time we went.

So if the library is just so damn EVIL, why isn’t everyone using it?  I have a theory on that one, it’s one of two things:

  1. They don’t realize what the library can do.  They somehow haven’t been in one in years and don’t get all the services and items you can use there.  It’s not just old books, often the library is getting copies of books shortly after their publication and new DVD releases are in the system in a month or so.
  2. They can’t stand waiting for things.  That is the major issue with the library system.  After all it’s all about sharing the same book or DVD with the entire population of the city.  So if there is a new DVD that everyone wants and there is only 10 copies in the system you will be waiting a month or two or even longer to get it.

Waiting strangely doesn’t bother me at all.  I’ve just accepted that’s the trade of for being the low cost way to feed my book and movie habit.  It’s actually sort of fun to stop in and see what came in this week.  I just keep a list of holds in the system of items I would like to borrow and eventually they show up.  It’s sort of like Netflix, but without fees or postage and you have return dates (typically a week for a DVD and three weeks for a book).

So how much is it really saving me?  Well out of 52 weeks in a year we are likely there about 45 of them (give or take).  They boys usually borrow at least one movie and I usually get one as well.  Then my wife and I at least get a book a week on average (mostly hardcovers), then my wife borrows back issues of magazines.

A rough cost breakdown would be:

  • 2 DVD rentals at $4 each (I have no idea the cost I haven’t paid for one in years) = $360
  • 2 hardcover books per week at $25 each (I’ve averaging this down to cover the odd soft cover) = $2250
  • 2 magazine subscriptions per year at $25 each = $50

Total savings are about $2660 annually.  I would that amount is a minimum it’s likely much higher over the course of a year.  Since that doesn’t include me pulling out a pile for reasearch once in a while or any of the boy’s books.  So what does all this cost me on my property tax bill?  $185.  So the library is saving me over $55 a week that I use it and it feeds my book and movie habits.  And people wonder why I think the library is EVIL?

7 thoughts on “The Library is EVIL”

  1. yes, i agree libraries are awesome! but, part of the library experience that is so awesome is that NOT everyone uses it. if everyone used the library as much as you, your wait times would probably be even longer.

    like this, i find myself questioning others lack of use of other forms of socialism: provincial/national parks, public transportation, fire and police (joking), etc. . . but, at the same time it’s nice having them selfishly all the more to myself.

  2. Sounds like you live in a decent-sized city… I live in a small (Canadian) community and we have a small library with a lousy selection of DVD’s/videos and NO inter-library loan. Don’t assume that YOUR library system equates to those in other communities in Canada!

  3. I lived in a town of less than 1000 people yet I could still get anything I wanted on interlibrary loan.

    It’s too bad that this is not universal. It is even more necessary in small towns as there is less to do!

  4. Kim,

    Well that sucks for you. I was basing my comments on three cities in three western provinces which all had similar systems. Hence my thoughts that most libraries function with inter-library loans. It appears there are some that don’t.

    On a related note I was reading that the library system in SK in getting an upgrade soon. Soon I will be able to use my Regina card in any library in the province to borrow materials and also drop them off in any library. I didn’t realize we are that advanced.


  5. I too live in a small town in Canada and our library system definitely has inter-library loans. I would hazzard a guess that most do.

    Also, you can make requests for DVDs/books to your library and they will usually put you first on the borrow list for when they get it in.

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