Monday, July 23, 2007

Public Library

There is a rather new public library in the center of the downtown. Mr. and Mrs. Awaara went to check it once, and found there were lots of DVD for check out over there. However, the public library membership is not free. An individual membership cost around 36 euro per year.

We were quite surprised at the beginning, since city's public library is always free in the US. You just need to show your valid ID, with a proof that you live in this neighborhood, something like your last month electricity bill. There was a limit on how many books you can check out every time, which is more than you could handle at one time. I remember the Foxpoint library we used to go to, mainly for checking out movies to watch on our little laptop. It was only three blocks from where we live. We mostly order the movies online. The library will send us email to inform that our order is ready for pick up. What you are checking out is actually from a pool of all Providence public libraries. They will bring your order to the closest library you would like to go pick up. Also, there are quite a lot of information is online. In terms of this, Boston public library is much better comparing to the Providence ones. I remember I once used Yiling's membership to download a movie from BPP.

Back to the Delft library, we finally decided to go to get a memebership just for checking out DVDs, since most of the books were in dutch. We feel that we need to have this membership to spend the long winter in Europe. Last Friday, we went there after Mr. Awaara left his office. It opens till 9pm on Fridays. You know what, they are giving three months' free membership! Let's have one. I signed up and we were excited running uptaris, starting looking through all DVDs. Soon, we collected five, and I went to check out.

The system of catologing of DVD is interesting. They made the cover of DVD case in identical plastic clip, listed alphabatically. You can collect your interested movies and go to the circulation desk. Assistants there will help you find the real DVDs in the safe: selves made out of steel. They are well indexed, and it doesn't take long to find out.

It is smooth in finding out all those five DVDs, and they scanned my library card, and gave me all those movies. I was quite satisfied and grabbed all of them and ready to leave. As soon as I turned, i was called. 'Hi, you need to pay.' WHAT???

So the policy is, every DVD you can check out for a week, and pay 2.5 euro for each copy. Isn't this the public library? Yes, it is. But we don't have enough funding so we have to charge a fee for DVDs.

WOW, we are further and further away from all the free stuffs that we enjoyed in US. Here it seems that nothing is free. We have taken for granted many things in the US. In US, you get tons of emails to seduce you to apply for a credit card with all kinds of offers. Here, you have to pay a management fee if you want to use a credit card. You also need to pay annual fee for a bank account. Banks are so rich place, but they still wouldn't let the business sector of the bank subsidize the personal banking as what happens in the US. Now our banking account costs around 40 euro per year. They augue the reason they are doing this is to prevent people opening multiple accounts but made them stay idle. It doesn't sound reasonable to me. At least my previous account in the US will be closed if there are no activities for certain days.

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