Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.

Budget Thursday: Libraries

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I remember as a child elated to venture through the library and select my own books to read. I was fortunate to have parents that weren’t too concerned with what I checked out as long as it wasn’t full of adult content or practices of which they didn’t approve (which was usually arts and crafts, but that’s due to the inherent mess that came with it). Thanks to the convenience of the internet and bookstores it’s a resource most remembered when one is lacking an internet service at their home. Regardless, the library is still a valuable resource for one researching Ancient Egypt with little change to spare.

Most libraries are more than books and videos. Some libraries actually subscribe to various academic journals relevant to your research; this subscription may be available in a digital or physical format, sometimes even both. The catch to this is usually how available a journal may be. I have found many times in my searches that journals are considered a reference source so you may not be able to check it out. Should that be the case in your library, don’t fret. You can still sit down with the copy and makes notes as necessary.

Take advantage of the inter-library loan program. Many libraries engage in some form of inter-library loan program. Libraries that partake in these programs show you what’s available not only at the current library but other libraries as well. If you use it you retrieve the book and pick it up at your desired location. The drawback is you may have to wait a few days, but this saves on costs of transportation in the long run.

Don’t forget to behave (and make sure any kids behave as well). It isn’t a budget-worthy point, but it’s a nice point to make these days. Even though much of how libraries function has changed drastically some protocols for behaving have not. Many years ago it was considered improper etiquette to carry on a conversation at a normal volume since it’s disruptive to a reading environment. In the day of cellphones it’s easy to just take a phone out and proceed to converse without regard to your location. Some libraries have set up “no cellphone” zones due to this rampant problem. Keep your cellphone on silent or turned off. If you must speak on your cellphone move to an area where you won’t disturb others (this may even be outside) and keep it brief. Also, speak in a hushed tone. This is akin to what my elementary teachers taught as the “3 inch voice”, or speak as if the person is within 3 inches of you.

Beware of the food court. Some libraries also provide a food court in today’s world (I don’t understand it either). It should go without saying to avoid from spilling food or drink onto a library book. If you damage a book the library has the right to ask for recompense.

Pay attention if something is for reference only. If it’s a reference book / journal / et cetera you can’t check it out. You can, however, take notes or make copies. On that note…

You don’t have to check out a book or other material. Many libraries accommodate for reading, just as they always have. You can come prepared to take notes, make copies, what have you and then place the reading material back into its proper place.

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