Last week we went to join the Médiatheque George Sand. The librarian was very, very patient with my halting French and didn’t just switch to English or just smile helplessly, like everyone else seems to do when I say something. She just spoke a little slower and endured my stuttering.
What amazed me about the process of becoming a library member is, that money was never even mentioned. “You want to join? Here, fill this in! Do you have an ID with you? Great!”. No need to prove our address. We filled in the forms and she showed us how many items of what kind we can take home and encouraged us to look at the DVDs and CDs.
Our patient librarian proceeded to show us around the library. When I asked about material to learn French, she showed us the shelves but said, I didn’t need that. That’s for absolute beginners. Instead she showed us a shelf with grammar books. (I love her!)
Just like in Belgium, there’s a large section of B.D., bandes dessinées (comic books and graphic novels), not only of Belgian and French artists but also American comics. Apparently Astérix is even funnier in French, so I’ll probably try that soon. For now I have blanket by Craig Thompson, a book about french verbs and a Paris guide book.
The library also offers V.O.D (video on demand) in cooperation with ARTE. The first time I wanted to try it, I had my preconceptions about libraries confirmed: the page gave a “bad gateway” error and the library catalogue didn’t work either. A couple of hours later everything seems fine. Apparently you can watch in 4 simple steps.
I haven’t tried it out, yet, but I’ll report here!