In praise of libraries

One of my favourite things that I see on the drive home from dropping Sophie at preschool is a queue of people outside our local library before it opens at 9.30am.

It is so awesome that people queue to get into the library! We love our local one, it has a lovely children’s section, with some toys for little ones which Matthew enjoys playing with while I read a story or two to Sophie. There are usually colouring sheets and crayons. There is a section of parenting books and resources, too, next to the children’s books. There are also loads of DVDs to hire, and lots of other books. They even have a coffee morning every Friday!

Growing up, each week I would go to the town library with my dad for an hour one evening. We’d look at all sorts of books – he liked crime and travel ones, I liked teen mystery ones – and borrow a few. It was one of my favourite parts of the week.

I think libraries are brilliant, and here’s why.

You can borrow books for free!

Yes, stop the press! Libraries lend you books for free! I know it’s hardly rocket science, but I really think this is an amazing resource that we have at our fingertips. At home, our space and funds for books are finite, so we can’t buy loads and loads of different ones. Add to that, our children are constantly developing and enjoy different books as they grow up, so we’d end up spending a huge amount if we had to buy them all ourselves.

There is so much variety

We find books in the children’s section that we never would have discovered without the library. I’ve also borrowed craft books for ideas of things to make with Sophie, and recipe books. You can find books on almost anything you want. You might discover a literary gem you never knew existed.

The Internet just can’t replace books

Reading stuff on the internet is just not the same as holding a book in your hand.

They are wonderful community hubs

Put simply, they are somewhere to go. I can remember in the early days with a newborn and toddler, I sometimes felt chained to the sofa, but, even on the rainiest of afternoons, the library was there for us, a quiet place to go for a change of scene. Libraries also provide facilities for the community such as Internet access, and information.

Reading is awesome

There was a time when I read voraciously. I would love to get that back. Reading opens our minds, informs us, inspires us, challenges us, entertains us. It is a wonderful skill and can be a wonderful source of escapism. Libraries give us books, and books are for reading, and reading is awesome.

Libraries: we love you. Thank you for always being there for us.

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3 thoughts on “In praise of libraries

  1. I love libraries too! One of my favourite places to go with my two little ones 🙂 Unfortunately our local council want to close our two closest libraries which means a lot further to travel for our library visits now 😦 Makes me so sad thinking about it 😦 Our library holds craft mornings for the kids too with story themes tied in. Will really miss our library if it does close down.

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    • Oh that’s such a shame! Our council had planned to close one of our local ones too, but thanks to community action it’s been saved. They have reduced the hours across many libraries to compensate, but at least the libraries are not disappearing altogether from the community. You could try putting together a petition or some demonstrations – one here involved a fancy dress parade! I hope it stays open.

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      • Think it has gone a little past that unfortunately. Hours are already reduced in libraries here. Our county council need to save thousands and thousands of pounds this next year alone so are planning on closing lots of our libraries, leisure centres, schools and our local bridge which links several communities (we are a rural county mainly). Hopefully the community has saved the bridge though through sheer determination – we had national news and all sorts involved with it! 🙂 The council has already closed loads of the county’s schools down, including six (that I know of) in my local area alone. Community petitions and marches etc have no effect as their budget is apparently that stretched. (They are slashing 4.3 million from education in the next 3 years 😦 ) All of our council services are being reduced (including bin collections). It is a pretty bad situation so I don’t think the libraries are on their list of priorities at the moment. Awful that it seems to be the usual public paying for the deficit!

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