Sunday, 29 August 2010

The future of libraries

Oh, I have neglected Blogland for the past week. Apologies for not keeping up with you all, but between work and writing, I visited my old hometown of Derby. It's funny how places seem really big when you're small.

This library was the one nearest to where we lived.

By the age of about twelve I had read my way through the children's section, and was motoring on through the adults'. I'm sure we could not have afforded to buy as many books as I borrowed. The local library was really central to nurturing my love of reading, which led to my love of writing.

I realise (now I am big) that our library was actually very small. Seeing in the news this week that library services are threatened with cutbacks, I worry for the future of libraries such as this one. Apparently, visitor numbers are generally falling. But according to the report, over 70% of children continue to use their local libraries, which is a pretty good reason for keeping them open I would say.

Of course we need our health services, our police force, our transport system etc, etc. But we also need our libraries! I am willing to chain myself to a railing should the need arise.

P.S. I must make it clear that the library pictured is NOT the one mentioned in my previous post (before you all go down there requesting books on divination and sharks).


Suzanne Jones said...

Great post. I agree, it's very important to keep libraries open.


Ellie said...

This post has brought back so many happy memories for me. Olga De Polga and Black Beauty, and many other books I borrowed. Thank you.

We still need libraries if the 70% figure is anything to go by, but I fear for their long term survival with the recession and the arrival of Kindles and ebooks. We must be vigilent in our campaign to save them.

Madeleine said...

What a touching post. Yes I have started to use our local library much more. We've lived in the area for 17 yrs now. My mother is a librarian but I have always preferred to buy my own books and keep my own library. Now however, I use the library to test the waters to see if I like the book or author (especially if it's an expensive textbook) before I buy. I would hate to see libraries close. i have even donated some former xmas pressies to them.
Madeleine x

Teresa Ashby said...

If it comes to it, I'll chain myself to the railings with you. I so agree with you - we must keep our libraries!

Old Kitty said...

Oh Joanna Fox, I too will chain myself to my local library if the need should arise!! They are so essential they must be saved and preserved. I wouldn't have read as much or found my love of the written word if it hadn't been for my school library and all the libraries I esconced myself in where ever and whenever I moved. Libraries ROCK! :-)
Take care

bazza said...

Through the generations, I, my daughters and now my small grandchildren all gained a love of reading through local libraries. Early exposure to books even at pre-reading age apparently generates a permanent, locked-in love of books.
My weakness is buying books and I can't pass a bookshop without going in and usually making a purchase.
Funnily enouigh your picture looks just like a library in Chigwell, Essex.

Joanne Fox said...

So that's seven of us up for chaining ourselves to railings then! Great. I'll bring the Maltesers.

penandpaints said...

Ooh Maltesers, count me in! haha
Libraries are so important, I used to borrow six books on a Saturday when I was about ten years old and read through them by the next Saturday. ( I can barely finish one in a month these days!)
Our local library seems quite popular with the kids, I hope it stays that way!

HelenMHunt said...

I also remember borrowing armfuls of books from the library when I was a child. For some reason I seemed to have a lot more reading time then!

Bob said...

When I used to use the library I read much more than I have done since I started buying books.

Joanna said...

I loved the library. The smell of a library sends me back to my childhood. I was a very shy child and didn't join in with games outside at playtime. I loved books so much that my infant-school teacher let me stay in and read instead.

Claudia said...

Isn't it sad when the city or the federal government cuts the budget of important institutions like universities, grade school, secondary school or libraries? Libraries used to be "the" entertainment of children before video games and cell phones. :(

Karen said...

We've just had our hours cut at the library where I work, and there may be more cuts in October. Such a shame. Like you I grew up with regular library visits from the time I learnt to read, and working in one has only reinforced to me what a valuable resource they are.