Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Supporting the Public Library

Earlier in June with the launch of the Sewn website, I was curious and wanted to examine the quilting book Material Obsession by Australian authors Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty. Sarah Fielke is the creator of the Sewn website. I searched at my LQS and the local "J" store, but could not find the book at either store. Occasionally, I search our local library system online catalog for new quilting titles. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my public library had a copy of Material Obsession in their collection. I placed a request for the book. In a short amount of time, I received an e-mail that the book was available for me to pick up at my local branch.

I enjoyed the book. The quilters used brightly colored fabric. Many of the patterns were traditional quilt patterns, but with bright, modern material. I especially enjoyed the side notes with comments on the quilts. While I didn't discover any quilts that I just HAD to make myself (thankfully), I did enjoy reading and experiencing this book.

Most public libraries have a service called Inter-Library Loan. This service borrows books from other library systems for their patrons. Yesterday, I had the idea to request another quilting book that I wanted to read. I have often purchased my own copy of books that I first explored from the library. So I filled in the online request form and figured I have to wait a couple of weeks before I heard anything. Today, I received an e-mail that the book that I requested can't be loaned through inter-library loan since it hasn't been out for a year. They wanted to know if I'd like to request that they move my request to the Suggested Purchase List. Wow! That's even better.

Our public library here in Gwinnett County, Georgia is fabulous!!!!


Brenda said...

I actually found that book at the Dekalb library, much to my surprise. I enjoyed it, don't know that I would ever make anything from it, but it was interesting reading.

Barbara said...

That's so funny, I just placed the order for that same book at my library. It came in on Monday, but I haven't gotten over to get it yet. I had the same thought as you, after all of the Sewn website start up stuff, I thought I would check it out. Now you are making me want to run over tomorrow and grab it.
I love my library for exploring new books.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Our libraries used to do the same thing, but recently have started charging a $100 per year fee if you do inter-library requests out of our county. I understand the need for funding for public libraries, but I can no longer use this service, as I feel it is a lot of money to pay per year. I could buy quite a few books for $100.

SewCalGal said...

Thanks for insight on this book. But I also appreciate the insight on recommending we check our local libraries for sources of quilting books. I agree this is a valuable resource.

I hope you don't mind if I take the opportunity to recommend that quilters (and authors) donate books to their local libaries. While local guilds also appreciate donations, our local libraries have become very supportive, in recent years, of our quilting/embroidery/sewing enthusiast's interests in books. As they are all financially challenged, if you have a book in your stash you are finished with, or funds to buy a new book and donate, the local libraries and communities can really benefit by your donation.


Cathy said...

I too frequent the library to scope out books before I purchase them. When I find one I want to have for my very own, I take it a step further and go to Amazon and check out their "used" section. I have had really good luck with finding the quilting books there at wonderful prices.

I would check with your library system before you donate things. They don't always put them in to circulation. Our county library will take your books, cds, etc, but then they resell them to fund "Friends of the Library" programs. I can understand why in the case of some of the paperbacks, but not with the hardcovers and the audiobooks. I ended up donating them to a senior center.

Sara said...

I love interlibrary loan, but I usually can get what I want from ones in our county here in Ohio. You can finds lots of good quilting books in libraries, if you look!

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

We do have a great library system. I want that book. Did you take it back yet???


I'll pay the late fee