I come from India and sadly there are only a few libraries in india, most of them u have to pay a monthly fee.I had a membership with a local mobile library where I payed Rs 150 for borrowing a handful of books every month . So i spent a lot of my money on buying books and had a problem of storing them.
As soon as I came to NZ 2 yrs back, the first thing I did was take a local library membership.The moment I stepped in I was so happy to see such a large collection of books.
The library staff are so helpful and in a matter of minutes I had a magnetic card( like a credit card) in my hand and was told that I can borrow books from 55 libraries around Auckland. I can also return the books at any of the 55libraries across Auckland no matter from which library I have borrowed them from.
Membership is free if u are a resident of Auckland.Wow!
All libraries have a free internet access. Too good.
Earlier I used to spend hours searching for a book, but later I found how easy it was to order a book online and also mention which library you would like to collect it from. I could borrow 35 books at a time ,including magazines ,cds etc.
I can also renew the books online so i need not worry that I dont have time to visit the library.It has a huge collection of Dvds to rent for a small fee.
Library was always a place where one has to maintain silence or the librarian hushes you.
However Auckland libraries have rhyme times and story times for children free of cost. They have craft and art activities for older children during school holidays. All this without charging a penny.At the same time the others can still read books without being disturbed and have ur coffee too.
The Digital Library includes over 100 databases which provide
access to the world’s information and e-audio books which can be downloaded.
They also have foreign language books ,play area for small children and a vibrant atmosphere and well heated rooms.
I take my 2year old and we spend many happy hours at the library . it has installed a love of books in my daughter and she looks forward to our visits.
Whenever I leave this country, the lovely libraries I will miss most.They have spoiled me for life.
Happy reading develops Happy Thoughts.
I am adding a link of the auckland libraries