Monday, 24 January 2011

Library Love...

Depending on what news you listen to or read the government is proposing the closure of between 300 and 1000 UK libraries in the next couple of years.  The library I work in is the biggest branch in the county town of where I live, so it's unlikely that it will be closed, however the closure of our reference library which is in a separate building has been announced (along with the loss of jobs for most of the staff there) and will be merged with our services in April.  I'm on a temporary contract, and I reeally don't think that my contract will be renewed.  Tis all a bit scary in library land at the mo.  Especially because nobody knows whats going to happen...or if they do know they're not telling us!  

Taxes and VAT and all sorts of other scary money type things are going up and getting more expensive.  The world is running out of resources and filling up with more people (soon there will be 7 billion people on earth!!!).  So why the government feels the need to get rid of an established way of sharing resources among thousands of people, while at the same time there will be less money going around for things like books, CDs and DVDs, as well as the provision of a lovely community space used by a wide and wonderful range of people, I do not know.

This is my haul from the library this week :)  I read so much more now I borrow my books rather than buy them.  And because I can take them back I have much more room in my house!  And it's free!  If you never quite get round to using your local library please, PLEASE start now, higher borrowing statistics can only help to prove that our libraries are well used and loved and will help the argument to keep them open!  

Oh, and there's an excellent article about 'read ins' and how to go about organising them here, just in case they're planning to close a library near you!


  1. it is not very forward thinking of the governments is it, silly things! I hope things work out for you. We love our local libraries and use them often! I can't imagine a better resource for a young family like ours. I'm like you, at the rate I go through books my bank account would be empty and our house full. The Munchkin loves going too and meeting other children, playing and choosing books and dvds to bring home. A world without libraries would be a very sad place indeed :(

  2. I have to confess that I'm not a regular library user. As a child growing up in India I was taken to the British Council library. When my daughters were young I carried on the tradition. I even remember borrowing my Dad's library ticket to keep them entertained during our holidays with him in Edinburgh. However when they were old enough to make their own way our visits tailed off.

    So, when I heard about the threatened library closures on the radio yesterday I felt very guilty indeed and resolved to renew my membership at the earliest opportunity. There really is no good excuse not to do so. I've been on the website to check opening hours and will be able to call in on my way home from the farmer's market on Wednesday. Which gives me two days to try and find my old library card. Help!

  3. Libraries are secret treasure troves. Love them.

  4. I agree Allana - but then the government doesn't seem to be being very forward-thinking in many of the services they're cutting at the moment *sigh* I'm so glad your family enjoy using the library, I love seeing all the families in my library, coming to storytimes and giving stickers and certificates to the children - it's so lovely!

    Gai - the same thing happened in my family, trups to the library every week when I was a child dwindled when I had to take myself, especially as it was so easy to buy books online. Working at the library makes it super easy to borrow books but I'm sure it's a habit I'll keep when/if I leave because I get so much out of it. I'm glad to hear you're planning a visit to your library :) Good luck in finding your card (depending on how long ago you last used the library, you're probably still on their computer system so they'll be able to trasfer your details onto a new card if you can't - take soem ID with you too!)

    Rosaria, I agree, Libraries are full of treasures! My library is also a castle so it's extra special! (well almost, built in the 15th century, grade one listed building that certainly looks like a castle and it has views of a real castle from the windows! It's amazing!)


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