BY James Hendicott
Do you ever ponder what your tax goes towards? Perhaps I have too much time on my hands, but occasionally, I do. One of the things that always jumps out as a great use of public funds is the library – a fantastic community resource that offers almost bottomless entertainment, as well as its more practical uses.
My son – who is eight – and I are regulars at our local, which typically has maybe five people in it, and recently we discovered they do console games. Specifically, in his case, we discovered they have a revolving catalogue of Nintendo Switch options that are extremely popular with the local kids, but you can occasionally wrangle new copies for a few weeks, saving around €60 a time.
Combine that with the order-in service, and you essentially have what amounts to a free video game rental place, except with longer borrowing, providing you’re willing to wait a few weeks when there’s a queue. In fact, we hit the jackpot the other day, rocking up locally at the same time as around 50 new games went on the shelves. Like an eight year old at Christmas, the little guy will mythologise the day he got his pick of several thousands Euros worth of brand new games, entirely free, before anyone else got a look in.
Personally, aside from the occasional game of Mario Kart, I’m not that bothered about the games themselves, but I am certainly bothered about the pressure being removed when it comes to buying a regular stream of expensive new release games, some of which will never get past maybe two hours of gameplay.
The slow morphing of the library into a more multimedia experience could be broader (the DVDs and CDs need replacing at this point, and music nerd that I am, I’d love to borrow vinyl, but the online option to read papers and magazines is very welcome). That said, if it’s saving me hundreds of Euros a year, the library must have the potential to do the same for plenty of others, too. Dive in…