Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: National Library Week in the US!

Monday, 11 April 2011

National Library Week in the US!

Happy National Libraries Week to all my american followers! Libraries are a very special thing, incredibly valuable and useful in my opinion. I'd like to spread the love of libraries around the world by making it Library Week on my blog as well. So, all this week, I'm going to be posting about libraries over here in the UK. I'd love it if you'd join me, no matter where you live!

To start us off, I'm going to repost an evaluation of the value of libraries to me personally for those who missed it. Later in the week I'll be telling you some more about my local library (and its recent revamp) and sharing some of the books I've borrowed from the library with you.

How the library has impacted my life (first posted 5th Feb 2011)

So, I turn on the TV this morning and hear on the news that today is a national day of campaigning against library closures. Right, I think, I wish I didn't have other plans for today so that I could join in. And then I realise that with only a few moments I too can join in- for I have a blog and a wealth of followers who appreciate the value of books. And so this post was born.
Books have always been a part of me, and so have libraries. My Dad's a librarian, so they were always bound to be an important aspect of my life. From a financial viewpoint, without libraries I wouldn't have a roof over my head or food on th table. Please spare a thought for those who could become unemployed during hard financial times should our libraries close.
My personal obsession with libraries started young. I used to visit the local library with my Mum to pick out my favourite books and as I grew up I became an avid fan of the mobile library that stopped down our street. In primary school I was a library prefect along with my best friend. Our job was to look after the books (including reepairing them), make sure they were returned on time, stamp them and shelve them. I really felt that I was helping the school by doing this job since the pupils needed the library for reference books as well as a literary education.
When I was at secondary school the local library became a place to hang out and wait for my mum to finish work. This allowed us to have some quality time together walking home, going out for coffee or going swimming. I used the librar computers to access the internet and enjoyed browsing the shelves for undiscovered treasures. I did my homework on the large tables that they provided and made use of reference books which we didn't have at home.
During sixth forrm I used the library to access maps for my coursework. And, of course, I continued to enjoy reading fiction books.
Whilst at university discovered the joys of a really big public library. With a small flat and little money it was impossible to buy all the books I wanted to read. Almost all my reading, therefore, was in the form of library books. I went regularly between and after classes and soon I had read nearly all the science fiction books.
The library also helped me to find funding during my gap year through its register of organisations with grants.
Nowadays I visit the library less often (I am lucky to be able to store plenty of books I want to read and get more through bookcrossing), but it is still an important part of my life. I buy cheap books to bookcross, especially those which I have already enjoyed reading. I check the shelves for books which online bookclubs I belong to are reading. I ocassionally pop in when I'm passing to see if they have the next book in a series or a random book I might enjoy. And I check the noticeboard in the foyer to see if there are community events that I am interested in.
For me the library has been a source of books when there were none, I place to relax and wait when I needed it, an educationally tool essential to my schooling and a source of information. Of course these are not the only uses of the library- my local also has story-teller, children's holiday clubs and DVD rental to name a few- but they are the ones that have been most important to me.
How has the library impacted your life?
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