Thursday, 14 April 2011

L is for ..... Libraries

(Longroom, Library, Trinity College, Dublin)

Up until a couple of months ago, I used to work in a town library.

Unlike this picture, from Trinity College, Dublin, it was quite modern design, all curved walls and glass. It had the distinction of being the first library of the new millenium opened in England, in March 2000, and was the busiest in the county with around two thousand visitors per day.

The public library of yesteryear has changed beyond recognition, at least here in the UK, anyway! Now they are one-stop-shops for all manner of things! My former work place had thirty public-use computers; housed the local Tax Office; offered Adult Career guidance and supplied CDs, audio-novels, DVDs……….and books!

Libraries, however, are under threat in the UK. Budget cuts are forcing some councils to close them, due to lack of use. There may be a number of reasons for this including the fact that books are relatively cheap to buy, especially via online services or that people have more leisure pursuits and ‘reading’ has to compete with a variety of other interests.

In the last three months before I left, we also had to cope with the introduction of self-service issue and return machines! Some customers were not impressed – and voted with their feet! I wished I had £1 for every time someone said “Oh, I suppose that’ll be you out of a job!” Thanks – that really made my day! 

Libraries, I hope, will still be around for some time to come – but they may not look or function as they once did. In the meantime, we need to keep them in use, now – or the free public library service may be taken away from us forever!

So if you are a member of a library please visit regularly and if you’re not, then why not join? You’ll find information on everything from ‘Aardvarks’ to ‘Zymurgy’ – maybe even in the fiction section!

(after all, when the oil runs out and our electronic-based society has to be rationed, you’ll be glad of a good book!)


  1. I like the idea of libraries having more than one use. Perhaps that is a way of saving them. My granddaughter was given an assignment to go to the library and look up something in the encyclopedia. Do you know they didn't have one any longer? They said everyone uses the internet now.

    I buy books for my e-reader online. They are so inexpensive and I don't have to go out. Plus my ereader is very light and comes in large print. So, I am one who has stopped going to the library although I have wonderful memories of going there from the time I was a child.

  2. hi Sue:)

    i enjoy going to the library and now am waiting for them to move to the new location which has more parking (needed). my wife has a kindle but i prefer having a book in my hands.

  3. We're facing the same problem, here. Libraries are closing or going multi-purpose and becoming hubs for counties within state. I love both real books and my Kindle -- depends on where I am and how many pages the book has because I can't hold the really large ones, anymore.

    Hello, fellow A-Z Challenger! Here's my latest entry. Come visit either of my blogs when you can and leave some comment love:

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    Twitter: @SolarChief

  4. I love my library. (So do my grandchildren.) I go often. Don't want to imagine life without it. For my Kobo (eReader) I utilize the eLibrary - BUT as convenient as that is, there is nothing like a real book that I can borrow from the library and read for free. What a deal!!!!

  5. I totally agree with supporting libraries. And a good book is good anytime.

  6. I love going to the library. Such a nice relaxing atmosphere. And a chainsaw is sharpened with a thin round file called a rat tail file. So you can get in each tooth :P

  7. I love the library! I can just lose myself in there ;) forget the world....and everything else! I wish they'd be there for a long long time....

    Following you from A-Z challenge!

  8. I'm struggling to comment, Sue, because due to the use of the words "Budget Cuts" you have in a way mentioned the Government.

    From past posts of my own, you may have noticed that the millionaire playboys who run our country are not very high up of my list of "likeables". In fact, they are not even at the bottom of the list as they have disappeared into the negative depths of said list.

    I therefore cannot comment as one of my New Year Res's was to be more positive and those lying, bull*******g b******s seem to rub me up the wrong way.

    So on a positive note, I got some new aftershave today that smells like bread crumbs - the birds love it!


    Long Live The Library!!!!

  9. I lOVE LIBRARIES! In fact, it was my post for today as well. I discovered this really awesome library and I've been drooling over it ever since. great meeting you through the a-z.

  10. I did L for Library too! I love my local library. We are blessed to have a really good one here where I live.

    Bev@My Reader's Block