Libraries offer a wonderful space for quiet time, reflection and creativity. I think there is something about sitting peacefully surrounded by books that evokes a feeling of calm. The library staff are likely to have a love of reading, so you could take the opportunity to ask for recommendations too, and maybe discover a new author.
Our local library has an adorable, bright children’s area. There are always free arts and crafts available, and they have different things for children to do regularly. It is a wonderful place to inspire children to read, as there is so much choice.
3. Support authors
In the UK, authors get a fee under the Public Lending Right when their books are lent out. I didn’t know this in the past, and used to feel bad about not buying books, as authors need to earn a living too. However, this means you can borrow away, guilt free.
Libraries are at the heart of communities, and offer a lot more than access to borrowing books. Check out your local library to find details of what is going on from the library (such as story time, friendship groups etc) and also what is going on in your community.
If you don’t have a computer, or are travelling and need to use one. Local libraries usually have computers you can access for free. For older relatives, who want to learn to use a computer, there are often free computer classes available.
5. Digital offer
We are off on holiday next week. I have always been tempted by magazines, particularly when travelling. It is worth having a look to see if your local library membership includes any type of free digital service. Ours is linked with RB Digital, which means we get free access to a range of digital magazines. For travelling I go through and pick my favourites to download. Less to carry, and best of all free!
6. Use them or lose them
On a more serious note, austerity remains and our public resources are ever stretched, if we want our fantastic local community libraries to remain, we need to show our support by being active members. Otherwise it will look like they aren’t valued or needed.
As such, I will end by a poem by Julia Donaldson, author and former children’s laureate:
Everyone is welcome to walk through the door.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor.
There are books in boxes and books on shelves.
They’re free for you to borrow, so help yourselves.
Come and meet your heroes, old and new,
From William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh.
You can look into the Mirror or read The Times,
Or bring along a toddler to chant some rhymes.
The librarian’s a friend who loves to lend,
So see if there’s a book that she can recommend.
Read that book, and if you’re bitten
You can borrow all the other ones the author’s written.
Are you into battles or biography?
Are you keen on gerbils or geography?
Gardening or ghosts? Sharks or science fiction?
There’s something here for everyone, whatever your addiction.
There are students revising, deep in concentration,
And school kids doing projects, finding inspiration.
Over in the corner there’s a table with seating,
So come along and join in the Book Club meeting.
Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,
And help make sure it’ll still be here tomorrow.
If you have stopped using your library, why don’t you go take a look? Find your library here.
Until next time ~ Hayley