I Hate the DMV But I Love the Library

This is late because I spent the afternoon becoming an official Chicagoan. Yep, I went to the DMV and changed my drivers license. So long photo with a tan, hello photo with a scarf (in April)! I didn’t have to do this, really, since my California license didn’t expire for a few years. So, why did I do it? Was it to suffer the DMV and add to my pain of job rejection that I got yesterday? Nope. I wanted a library card.

I love the library. I always have. When I was a kid, if we were good, we could go to the library and bring home three books. When I was eight or nine and we moved from Cincinnati to New York, my goal was to read all of the Nancy Drew books in my school library before we left (mission accomplished, BTW). I got a library card in Arizona even though we were only there for three months and I rushed to the Dana Point library when we moved to California (the San Clemente library is kind of lame for adults. Apparently it’s great for kids).

So, this afternoon I sucked it up, went to the DMV, (and I had to take the test unlike my cheater-pants husband but that’s another story) and then headed straight to the library. Since we’re unemployed, buying books is not in the budget and so I loaded up on some reading material. Better than that, though, I checked out one of the library’s Museum Passports and now Jeff and I can go to the Art Institute for FREE for the next week! They have passes for general admission to all of the major and major-ish museums in Chicago and this is a lot easier than keeping track of all of the museum free days. They market the program to families but I double checked with the friendly librarian and grown-ups are more than welcome to use the passport. If you do have kids, the passports are good for up to four people.

When I went online to find the link for the Museum Passport, I also discovered that you download all sorts of material from the library’s Web site! Unfortunately for me, most of the music is for PCs only and we live in a mac house but a lot of the audio books are mac-friendly. The Chicago Public Library also hosts a ton of events, lectures and exhibits at all of their locations but, obviously, Harold Washington Library has the most “high profile” folks. Like most libraries, the Chicago Public Library also offers free computer use and free Wi-Fi in the library.

Even if you’re not in Chicago, check out your local library and your library’s Web site – you may be very surprised at how much it has to offer!

Remember, please add comments and forward Bright-Yellow to your friends. You can also follow me on Twitter (username jenhp).



  1. Awesome Jen! I do this everytime we move. My kids say I’m “addicted” to the library as if that’s possible. (Is it? I’ve already been twice this week and it’s only Tuesday so I suspect it’s entirely possible.)The library is always a first stop on our getting-to-know-a-new-town tour. Since we tend to move during the summer, sometimes it works out that the kids get to participate in the Ancient and Wholesome Ritual (a.k.a the Summer Reading Program) at 2 separate library systems. Woo hoo!

    I’ve read about these museum/event passes that are “check-outable.” Apparently it’s more popular in urban settings than it is down here. I’ve checked.

    Good call on the events listing from library websites too. I found out about a local author event that was going on at my library re: earth day. In fact I was going to do a book signing at it, but my publisher couldn’t get me books in time. Oh well, maybe in the future.

    BTW, employed or not, at the rate I read, the library is the ONLY way to keep up with my habit. I buy some stuff, but only if I love it. I may drop out of my only current book club, because they continue to pick these books that are only hardcover and not yet in our library system. I bought the first couple and they were terrible.

    One other awesome thing, online holds. Essential to getting what you need especially in a smaller library system, like mine.

    Good Stuff Biddle!

  2. What a great item today! I think libraries are GREAT! When I was growing up, I used to ride my bike down to the library on a regular basis. I read through all the good books in what would now be the “tween” section, so I moved on to adults. I didn’t think anything of it…until the librarian called my mom and let her know what I was reading. Thankfully my parents support reading. She said that I could check out what ever I wanted as long as I showed her the books and let her decide if I was OK reading it.
    BTW – I loved Nancy Drew too.

  3. I love the library! And I’m teaching my kids to love it too. They are constantly amazed that they can tell me what book they want and *poof* I can make it appear in a few days.

    The online functions of the libraries just make them that much better! I love being able to pick what I want from home and just pick them up at the front desk.

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