The Library

Maybe it’s just me, or do all engineers have an affinity for books?

If I go into a Barnes & Noble, I’m likely to come out with a book or two. Usually something really cool, like programming or maybe about computers. Sometimes I manage to ask myself if I really need the book: then I might put it down until the next visit. Left to my natural inclinations, I continue to build an ever-higher “books to read” pile next to my reading chair. I enjoy learning new things, and each new book is a treasure waiting for me to explore. They’ll all so interesting, I usually have three or four going at the same time: I read one for awhile, then restart on another.

Volunteering is also something I find rewarding. I’ve enjoyed Boxers since I was in grade school, and I found a way to do something for unfortunate dogs who need new homes: adoption. So, several years ago, I wrote web-site code to assist the AABR – Adopt A Boxer Rescue. The AABR has a 150-question form for the potential adopter to fill out and show they’ll provide a good home. My contribution was to pull the application into a database and provide a way to manage/track each application. Thousands of applications. (I also adopted several Boxers, but that’s another story!)

Okay, so where does the library come in? I decided to do more volunteering and help at our local library, Williamsport’s J.V. Brown Library. I go there several hours a week and help out as needed: shelving books, helping patrons find books, setting books in order, monitoring the floors. Nothing heavy duty, but I get to see hundreds of books. If I see something interesting, I stop and read awhile; if it’s really riveting, then I check it out and bring it home.

The library is an all-around win for me:

  • I can volunteer and give something back to our community,
  • I can discover books that I’d never otherwise find, and
  • I can borrow rather than purchase.

If you’ve never thought about volunteering at your library, check into it. It’s a vital resource for educating the younger generations, and they can always use more support.

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