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8 February 2014

National Libraries Day

Yes, today is National Library Day (here in the UK). Did you know? No, I didn't know either, just saw it by chance now on a 'bookish' Twitter feed. Now this makes me wonder why this wasn't advertised more? Wouldn't that have been a perfect chance to promote our libraries? Instead, I read about it purely by chance - and that even for a Bibliophile like me. 

I kind of feel a bit sad now that this seems to have passed me by. Maybe I should have checked our the library!

I have to admit, I don't go to the library any more very often. My TBR pile and review pile is already quite tall. But I know that our libraries need support and many of the smaller village libraries in the countryside surrounding our town have already closed down. This is truly devastating and I can't image there not being a library. I was actually looking forward to going to the library more often once I'm retired (quite a few years still go to …)

So the main aim of the National Libraries Day is, of course, to 'advertise' libraries and, acc to The Reading Agency to dispel a few myths about libraries:

  • Libraries are boring
  • Libraries are irrelevant in the modern age
  • Libraries are old fashioned
  • You have to be quiet in a library
  • You have to pay to join or borrow from a library

Ok, I'm just looking at myself now… I've said earlier that I haven't been to the library for a while. I do have plenty to read, but is there more? My local library here in Dartford is ok, but during the week I can't go as I'm home from work too late. They are open on Saturday, but usually during the day, again, I'm busy in the house (but if I really wanted to go or wanted a particular book I would make the time). There also is a library almost across the road from my place of work. Unfortunately, I do not like it at all. It always smells horrible in there (old sweat and urine - sorry to be a bit graphic). The first time I went there I thought I might have just been unlucky - but no, it's like that every time. I think it might be because… well, I feel horrible saying this, and I don't want to sound snobbish, but in the computer area and reading area you find mostly people who don't have a permanent home address and go there to keep away from the elements? I know that libraries are for everyone, of course and the very reason they exist is to give access to books and eduction to everyone, regardless if they can afford it or not. But just so often I see those people sitting there, with a book next to them, but not really reading. It's hard to find a chair and it just isn't' nice at all. it's a shame because otherwise I would go there in my lunch break. And yes, in that library you do have to be quiet. 

What would make me visit the library more often now:

  • an event (author talk, book group)
  • a (clean) cafe with comfy seating area where there is no fear of getting moved away when you finished your Latte
  • better opening hours -- I know that is not possible due to financial constraints. It's not the main factor for me
Just my thoughts… so what do you think?