Today's Thursday Thrift is pretty much a PSA for your local library. So. We all have ipods or mp3 players or the like now, nu? You could buy CDs and then download them to your players. Or you could buy the songs online. Or you could get the CDs from your library, download them, return them and spend $0.00.
Let's face it: many, many CDs are not keepers. It's the same with books: some are keepers and others, once read, are not the worth the paper they're printed on. E.g., Pride & Prejudice is surely a keeper (like you didn't see that one coming). Pride & Prejudice & Zombies might be a keeper...keepability is subjective. I could be wrong about this, seeing as I haven't read it yet, but I'll venture a guess that Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin is probably not a keeper (great title, though! who thinks of these things? and how much do they get paid to do this? and how can I get that job?). But what do I know? I often wonder if my tastes are too parochial.
Anyhoo, you decide what you do and do not want for keeps. And whatever you don't want, borrow it from the library. Now, our library's CD collection is pathetic. It's beyond small, limited or any other respectable word for 'meager'. It's all the way to pathetic and then some. But enough about us (btw, if you click that link you'll see the thoroughly unimpressive and sloppy website maintained by me, local library webmaster...*snort*...I still can't say that without laughing...I don't know wtf I'm doing). The thing to note is that the library's website has a link to the online catalog. That catalog covers what's called the MAIN consortium, i.e., all the libraries in Morris County. Any library that is part of a consortium should have a link to their online catalog on their website.
Plenty of other larger and more metro libraries have big collections...some even still have LPs! Your library prolly has inter-library loans (or some similarly-named arrangement) whereby you request that an item from another library be sent to your library for you to pick up there and borrow. In our consortium, it usually takes 3-4 days for stuff to arrive, although it could take longer. If the item is very popular, e.g., the newest James Patterson or Janet Evanovich book, it could take a while to get to you. That can be frustrating when you're dying to read the new book by your favorite author, but I'm sure you can find something else to read until your book comes in. Basically, it could take longer or shorter to get your requested item based on:
- if the item is something new from a popular author/artist/whatever; it can take weeks/a couple of months to get crazy-popular stuff
- if the item is not new, but a popular reading club selection, e.g., The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society has been out for over a year now, but reading clubs are still selecting it
- the item is not new, but something in the news sparks interest, e.g., the movie about Julie Child has resulted in a lot of requests for her books
- if the item can't be located right away (e.g., yesterday and still today I couldn't find a book another library's patron wanted so I marked it missing and now the request will go to another library)
- library closings, e.g., scheduled, holiday, weather, etc.
Now, what if your consortium doesn't have what you want? You or your library may be able to search outside of your consortium. I did this a bit when I was in school. E.g., we have something called JerseyCat (love that name, obvs). Patrons can search for and request the desired item from other consortiums (consortia?) and libraries throughout NJ. JerseyCat's search feature seems a little less intuitive and user-friendly than the MAIN online catalog, so you can usually ask your friendly neighborhood librarian to help you search JerseyCat or search and request the item for you. Most of our patrons' JerseyCat requests are placed by staff, but a few people use it regularly and place their own requests.
At least wrt JerseyCat:
- requests submitted by patrons need to be approved by their home library staff; e.g., if a Boonton patron submitted a request from home last night, a Boonton staff person will see it when they check our account with JerseyCat; most requests are approved, but...
- ...requests for wildly popular things that should be in every library, let alone every consortium, will most likely not be approved; e.g., every library has at least one copy of every Harry Potter movie and book, so Boonton would not approve a request for that in JerseyCat
- JerseyCat is supposed to be for things that are not available within your own consortium
- libraries are not required to provide requested items; e.g., the Trenton Public Library is not required to loan me their copy of Basic Data of Plasma Physics if doing so goes against their JerseyCat loan policy or, basically, if they just don't want to
- it will take longer to get an item through JerseyCat; it involves more processing on the part of the loaning and borrowing libraries; it jalso ust takes longer to get a book to Boonton from Cape May County than from Mountain Lakes, which is right next door to us; there is a van service that goes between the libraries, but not all libraries are connected; sometimes the material travels via old fashioned snail mail
- some libraries may charge for JerseyCat items, although we do not and I haven't heard of anybody doing so
The other neat thing about borrowing library CDs is that you never know when you'll come across something new or at least new to you. E.g., one of our patrons recently borrowed an old David Bowie CD, Pin Ups, from another library. So then I borrowed it and enjoyed it...I thought it was a lot of fun. Now, I saw it bc I work at the library, but if you peruse your library's online catalog you'll be requesting stuff left and right.
Well, I'm off bc I have to go take care of something in the kitchen. I'm working on an ingredient to try in another batch of chili this weekend. It might just supply the certain je ne sais quoi that I felt the last batch was missing (although no one else seemed to think it was missing anything...I think so...but I don't know what!).