Saturday, 5 February 2011

Save Our Libraries Day

Save Our Libraries Day  is basically what is says on the tin. People all over the country are up in arms about the loss of their libraries, and are protesting and organising events today. And quite right too. Libraries are important. They offer a wealth of knowledge, both from the books and the librarians behind the counter. (Although, my local library is self-service, and it is possible to complete the entire return-find-borrow cycle without having to talk to anyone. I imagine this was the original plan to save money, but it obviously hasn't worked.)

I am using my local library a lot more these days, since I realised that my own reading material was becoming very focused on the books I already had at home. It's great fun to take my six-year-old every three weeks to change our books. And my eleven-year-old uses it as a meeting place with his friends - though I'm not sure how popular that is with the staff!

But - and this is one of those big BUT moments - I see the sense in saving money. And I also understand that councils have more than just our cultural well-being to look after - they have meals-on-wheels, child care, health, refuse collections... the list is reasonably long, and you all know what they do, so I won't continue. In this list, the loaning of books doesn't seem like such a priority. As a writer, I know I should be up in arms about this too, but I can't in all consciousness be so.

Therefore, I am very glad there are people all around the country standing up for this wonderful service. I really do hope they can make a difference. But I cannot join in.

4 comments:

  1. This is a good one! I see your point and I agree. Sadly, I rarely go to the library anymore. With E-books running so cheap or even free, I have a stock pile of books waiting to be read. But that little girl in me, who used to visit the library three times a week as the highlight of her life? Well, she'd be super sad if they closed. And where would I indulge myself in the "library smell"? I LOVE that smell.

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    1. I love the library smell too - it's what I miss about not working in one anymore.

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  2. Hi Annalisa - I wrote two library posts earlier this year .. looking back millennia and looking forward to the future .. it was fascinating to research. I hardly use the library, and never have - always had reference books, books to read, and now the net .. but I have started going down there at times .. and I'd hate libraries to disappear ..

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Yes, I wouldn't want them to disappear - I still use mine a lot.

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