Sunday, 18 October 2015

Libraries?



I can't remember when I started using the library. We used to visit after my swimming lesson and I'd pick out a few books to read, and then return them the next week. When I was about 11 or so, I faced somewhat of a book crisis at home. I was reading books faster than I acquired them, so the libraries became an important part of my life. I took part in the summer reading challenges my local library used to host, and spent hours looking through the shelves in a search for the perfect book.

Nowadays I use the library for homework or non fiction books, as well as somewhere to go if I have a few hours to kill in the city. While I love the library, I could probably make more and better use of it, a view shared by many avid readers. With the number of library branches declining by 8% since 2009, and visits falling by 40 million since 2010, our library services are in danger of closing and disappearing forever.

Libraries provide a community hub in many areas, hosting book clubs and other activities for the local people. These services can prove vital to the vulnerable and elderly, as well as for those just hoping to make new friends. They provide one of the only safe, indoor and free areas in many towns and cities in which people can spend time without being moved on. Many libraries also have free internet and printing services, an important lifeline for those who cannot afford a computer or wi-fi at home, allowing them a way of connecting to the wider world. Through this, some libraries provide computer training lessons for those unable to use a PC.

Most of all though, libraries provide free access to information for everyone, whether this is via screen or page. They are not discriminative, and are accessible to all those who want to widen their knowledge and horizons.

Recently I have been trying to use the library a little more, such as by taking the books I want to read out, rather than buying them. I was surprised at how easily I have taken to this, I no longer feel guilty about not liking a book because I haven't paid for it, and have been reading more diversely as I am able to try things out without investing in a copy of my own.

If you are an enthusiastic reader like me, I implore you to try to use your local library. Not only is it a fantastic was to save money on literature, but it is also helping a vital community service that many people rely on.
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2 comments

  1. So what's your view on ebook libraries?

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think ebook libraries are great, I definitely need to make more use of them! However, I don't think a lot of people know that some libraries offer ebooks, so they need to be better advertised.
    Eleanor

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