Did my bit for the “Save our Libraries Day” campaign on Saturday – and for the first time in a while I visited my local library to lend my support and borrow some books. Since my last visit the Library has been refreshed – and the different spaces create a really comfortable environment. It was also great to see the different range of people who were there young and old, sharing stories, catching up, playing, reading newspapers, accessing the internet, browsing the local history collections. I was also really impressed with the e-books and on-line resources available. There is so much more to these cultural hubs than simply books and I do sometimes worry that the media miss this point in their coverage of the various campaigns.
by Phil Bradley
For me libraries have been an important constant through my journey from borrowing books as a young child, to educational study, cramming for exams to applying for jobs. It fades away for a few years but then comes back – and the idea of some shutting (especially at a time when many community services are under threat) is so sad. And they are so much more than books.