February 9th 2013 is National Library Day here in the UK and so I felt it was only right that I did a post for you all today on libraries and how much I really think that they are absolutely brilliant. Libraries are a place for people to go where they can be subjected to a vast majority of titles which they can borrow for free, they can borrow audio-books and DVDs, they can use the computers and internet for free (including WiFi), and there is always a strong focus on getting children more involved with reading and coming into the library.
And, if all of that wasn’t enough, there are also, in this new digital age, e-books and e-audiobooks that library members can borrow as well.
But enough about all of the borrowing side of libraries. That is mostly common knowledge, it is after all, the definition of libraries to LEND items to library members. But what few people may realise is everything else that the library and library staff offer to its members. For example, did you know that you may be able to book rooms in your library where you can hold meetings, or book clubs, or courses, or even classes? Or did you know that if you were looking for information on well, anything you could step into your local library and simply ask for help? It is possible you did know all of this and that this post is not a very informative post for you at all, but I have a feeling that some of these services were new to a few of you.
On top of all of that, as though that wasn’t enough, UK libraries also usually have children events throughout the week such as Storytime and Rhymetime to help the little ones interested in reading. There is also a Homework help area, other events held throughout the year, the Summer Reading Challenge, fun arts and craft events, and a lot of the time there will also be activity sheets for the children when they come into the library as well.
With all of these great services, how is it possible to not step into your local library and see what they can do for YOU? While not all libraries will have every service on offer, it is very likely that they will have more on offer than you first thought and would be willing to point you in the direction of larger libraries with more services as well. So why not head to YOUR local library today and find out more!
Besides, librarians are usually pretty friendly. :D
Some quotes from famous people and authors that I like about libraries;
“To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
“When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.” – Rita Mae Brown
“Libraries are our friends.” – Neil Gaimon
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” – Ray Bradbury
“What in the world would we do without our libraries?” – Katherine Hepburn
“In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.” – Linton Weeks
“Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark…. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.” – Germaine Greer
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.” – Sidney Sheldon
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” – Andrew Carniege
All these quotes (and MANY more) can be found here
Really, with all the government cuts to funding, with all the worry of schools without libraries, I worried about the future of libraries but these days, I’m not so panicked about it because even with this new age of technology, I am certain that libraries will still be needed. We may not always be there stocked with paper books, DVD hardcopies or CD audiobooks, but when all of these things disappear, we’ll still provide digital copies. Plus, we will be a place that will have e-readers to use in store, computers and laptops to search, and we’ll always have the information service with trained staff able to search the mass internet effectively.
There is a reason why there are still libraries mentioned in sci-fi movies, and that is because libraries are stronger than many think and I am certain that they will be here for many, many, more years to come.