The library

A few weeks back, I renewed my library card. It’s been expired for years. I had no idea what I needed to do so I went in and asked. It was a straightforward procedure. They just needed ID proving I live in the city. After handing over my drivers licence, I held up my expired card and said, “Here’s my card. Do they even look like this anymore?” They do. He reactivated it in the system without requiring the card itself.

I don’t know what reminded me, but I recalled that I had borrowed some CDs from the library a long time ago. You know, when my library card was still valid. That’s likely why I renewed it.

Over the last month, I’ve borrowed an average of about ten CDs a week. A few were in such bad condition that they wouldn’t rip properly. It’s disappointing that people don’t show reasonable care to the discs, but I suppose it’s to be expected. I do not expect to maintain this rate of borrowing for long. I believe that a big part of why I’m doing this is because I haven’t bought much music lately. I’ve been good about repaying debt and borrowing from the library allows me to enjoy new music without paying $20 for each CD.

And before we go there, this is legal. I’m making copies for my own private enjoyment. The Copyright Act (Part VIII “Private Copying,” section 80) is quite clear about it.

I’ve discovered that more popular titles are nowhere to be found. I wondered if the library even bought popular titles. Their absence isn’t a bad thing because it has me look more closely at titles I might not have otherwise decided to audition. Then it hit me: the popular titles are indeed part of the library’s collection, but they’re all signed out. I went to the library’s web site and searched for some titles I couldn’t find at the branch. Almost all of them were there. To get them, I need to reserve a copy and wait my turn. In one case, there are 175 people ahead of me on the list! That’s fine. I’m patient. When it’s my turn for any of the dozen titles I’ve reserved, they’ll send me an e-mail message, and I can pick the disc at my local branch. It’s hardly inconvenient, especially considering the price!

I like the library.

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