The Library of Congress was established in 1800 and is the oldest cultural institution in the United States. It is also the largest library in the world, containing more than 160 million items. This massive collection requires 838 miles of shelf space. Things aren’t static at the Library. Approximately 12,000 items are added daily.
Our local library can’t boast such a huge collection. It’s really very small, but they do provide computers and WiFi for no charge to any library patron.
I have a computer and an internet connection at home. I use them both daily. However, I live beyond any cable company reach so my choices for internet connection are limited and expensive. It’s one of the sacrifices that we make to live in our beautiful forest.
When I want to do some research, which might require a couple of hours online to do, I head out to my local library. I can chew through my limited monthly allotment of data quickly when I spend that kind of time online. And, forget about watching videos. I’d be over the limit before I could get started.
It’s one of the resources available that requires no additional fees and it’s an important part of stretching our retirement resources. We’re not alone. In a report published in January of this year, done by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there were 271,146 public access computers in libraries across the US, and those computers were engaged for 340.5 million sessions.
The survey also found that 62% of the responding libraries provided the only free computers and internet access in the community. While I’m thankful for the internet service we have, it is expensive and likely beyond the budget of many in our area. I’ll admit that I envy those who have unlimited, fast internet access and I hope that I will have that in the near future.
For now, it’s a blend of our service at home and that of the library. It works and it saves money. In other words, it’s a frugal choice.