Wednesday 1 September 2010


Today I made a trip to the library, which luckily for me is right next door to my flat.  It got me thinking about libraries, how they work and what they should be used for.

When I was growing up, my parents didn't have a lot of money.  I loved to read, but the only books I ever actually owned were either received as Christmas/birthday presents or from a great second hand book stall in the local market that sold children's books for 20p (pocket money price).  So every Saturday, my Mum, sister & I would walk to the local library and get out the maximum 8 books each - and I always looked forward to it.  Now it's one of the happy memories of my childhood.

But when I was in the library today, it struck me how different libraries have become.  Granted, my library is very small and also functions as a community centre but I think there have been general changes.  There were people tapping on computers and chatting in groups, and even though the computer area is screened off, it was still noisier than it would have been back when I was 5 or 6.  The children's book area had toys as well as books.  There didn't seem to be many comfortable places to actually sit and read in the library - there was only a hard wooden desk and that was taken up by a group of people running a book club.  There's a local council phone which someone was using to find out about council tax.

Some of these changes are good, no doubt, and some are bad.  What do you all think?  I would also be interested to hear about libraries where you live, and if they're different to mine (UK).


  1. I remember going every week to the library with my mum and spending ages in there, coming home with the maximum number of books, to start and the do it all again the following week.

    The library near me is fairly poor I think, with hardly any choice I probably go 4 times a year, just for a change and to see if anything grabs me! Our main library actually closes on a Friday (of all days!) so you cannot even go in there now! I think that is wrong, what a stupid day to close it.

    Anyway enough of my soapbox.

    I love how your blog is coming on, look forward to your review on The Other Boleyn Girl - a good read.


  2. I remember my small hometown library. It has been a few years since I was last there. I remember it smelled just as it did when I was 5. They have grown and even added a new addition. They sponsor book groups and classes for the masses. I think it is great. Its good business for a library to grow in a community.

  3. I went to the library every afternoon after school (about 3 blocks from school) and waited for my dad to pick me up to go home. I was a voracious reader! Now, I have a library 2 blocks from home and it's so tiny and no one looks at the books. They're there to use the computers. And it's not the adults who pay the taxes - but the kids there to play games (not doing homework or anything to encourage learning).

    Anyway, great post and I enjoyed the comments too. I'm following you from Nebraska (US) and Book Blogs.

    Tina "The Book Lady"