Lonely Libraries

Yesterday I took the kid to the library.  I asked him when we got up what he wanted to do that afternoon and he barely paused before announcing that he’d like to go to the library.  He loves it as much as I do. He never fails to sulk at the sixteen books limit. 

By the time as we’d run a few errands, it was past lunch time when we arrived at the library to be told by the librarian that we were the first people in all day.  Seriously.  In four hours of opening, noone else had been in.  Not a single soul.  This makes me so sad.

Libraries are being closed left, right and centre, but one of the few left within an easy commute is standing empty.   Libraries are a source of information.  Not only books, but local history, geneaology.  The larger libraries in our area host author talks and lectures.  There are kids reading challenges for the summer holiday.  Free internet access.  The list is endless.  If our library was to close, we would be distraught.  On a more personal level, libraries have acted as a sanctuary throughout my life.  At school, I escaped bullies by losing myself amongst the shelves.  One of the first things I did when I moved to Londin was join my local library.  The kid and I whiled away many hours in the local library during the breakdown of my violent marriage.

Saving libraries is something I feel very strongly about.  Reading and encouraging reading for pleasure is another.  I’m afraid that if we don’t make full use of our libraries then we are going to lose them.  I’m even more afraid that I’m among the minority who would genuinely care.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Lonely Libraries

  1. Libraries have been my refuge all my life too, Emma. The same sort of closures and emptiness is happening in the US as well.

    I do have to admit a bias, as I am a librarian at a university, but the local public library, half a block from me, is a major fixture in my social and intellectual life.

  2. I suppose that’s the problem, if people don’t go then it’s difficult to keep them open. It always upsets me when I go past the library in Jesmond and it’s empty, while the library in town seems to be just one loud computer room now. Such a shame.

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