I took a trip to my local library the other day and came out with a big smile on my face, and believe me I had gone in with a real grump on, my books were overdue (my bad), it was raining and my to-do list felt like a never-ending treadmill.
My change of mood was due to 1) the genuine warm welcome from probably the best librarian in the world, 2) the awesome pile of kid’s books I came out with and 3) because I witnessed an elderly member of the community being taught how to use WhatsApp, a group of people sitting together having coffee in a safe, comfortable environment and two toddlers squabbling over That’s Not my Penguin. Basically, it was because my library rocks. Then I was struck with a thought – what if this vital village service was one day to close and I hadn’t done enough to help it stay open? I used to go to the library all the time but recently I feel l have neglected it – support for our libraries must surely start with just using them on a regular basis?
When my children were of pre-school age, we used to weave a trip to the library into our weekly routine. At one stage we would make a regular visit to the county town library after a weekly gymnastics session. This particular library was big enough to have a café so after choosing a pile of books we would cuddle up with a ham and cheese toastie and start reading. Now that my kids are all at school they are no longer interested in cosy trips to the library with Mum, they moan and groan if I suggest it. However, when good old Mum makes the trip alone and brings a surprise pile of books home, they fall on them like some sort of story vultures, often arguing over who gets to read a particular one first. So I’m going to make this a regular monthly visit and hope that this new routine, though not actually physically getting my kids into the library, may still give them an awareness that such a fantastic service exists and one day they may venture down and explore the shelves for themselves.
My Village library is……
A Keeper of Stories – there are books upon books on the shelves waiting to be read and my three voracious readers, and myself, are yet to read even half of them.
A Store of Knowledge – there is plenty of non-fiction to help with school projects or just for kids who love facts
A Hub for the Community: it hosts knitting groups, I.T support groups, Under 5 activities, a Crafts and Laughs Group.
A Safe Place – literally, it is part of the Safe Places National Network. A safe place helps vulnerable people if they feel scared or at risk while they are out and about in the community and need support right away.
Working hard to keep children reading…this Winter they are participating in the Winter Reading challenge which any child can take part in.
It would be a shame to lose this service in our community, or any of our UK communities, so please help me support our libraries by making a visit to the library part of your routine – you, your community and future generations will benefit.