Bochus Yule I

Bochus Yule I buttonBochus Yule–library Christmastide–is a book blogger celebration of their local libraries. It is hosted by Claire at The Literary Omnivore.

I know I’m supposed to talk about my local library, but I think I’ll save that for next year. My former local library deserves a shout out this time around.

I rediscovered my love of public libraries when I was going to grad school in New York. It wasn’t even books that drew me back to the library. It was the amazing DVD selection at my local branch of the Yonkers Public Library, which I decided to check out when it became clear that my beloved Netflix account no longer fit in my budget. Since Yonkers is linked into the rest of the Westchester library system, I was amazed to discover that much of my Netflix queue was readily avaiable–for free!–via the public library.

I was out of reading-for-pleasure practice at the time (graduate history programs will do that to you). But the DVDs were conveniently located right next to the new book releases, and before long I was looking at the literature more than I was the DVDs. I gradually got back into the habit of reading a book for fun, rather than “gutting” a book for specific information. After I graduated–just in time for the economy collapse–and my days were filled with crappy hours at part-time retail jobs, the library became a saving grace.

I miss the Yonkers library. I miss the amazing library sales and the to-die-for audiobook and ebook selection on Overdrive. I miss the two sweet, knowledgeable reference librarians (and I’ll grudgingly admit to even missing the crotchety old one who hated talking to people–although I tried to avoid her at all costs).

A few months before I moved away for good, city-wide budget cuts led to library hours being cut pretty drastically. Considering all of the services they offered, it was a huge blow to library patrons. I shudder to think that the amazing selection they once offered might now be dwindling, especially since that part of Yonkers is low-income.

Libraries matter. In the spirit of Bochus Yule, I’ll be making a donation to one Texas library that I know is in dire need: Bastrop Public Library. Bastrop was ravaged by wildfires in September, and a lot of their children’s and YA books that were checked out got burned or damaged in the fires. If you’re able to make a donation–whether it’s to Bastrop or your local library–please consider doing so!

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