Wednesday 2 May 2012
In Which I Have Fallen In Love With My Library Again!
I always plan these non-review, non-meme posts but somehow never manage it. I think the last one was way in the early beginnings of my blog and it was a debate over e-readers (still undecided on that one by the way). Since I have the time and the inspiration I'm going to do one now.
I am sure I have mentioned already that I have recently begun visiting my local library again. I think most people who have been big readers from childhood would say that the library was a big part of their lives growing up. It certainly was for me. Again I am positive this isn't something I haven't said here before. I loved my library. I can't even remember getting my first library ticket I was so young. I remember visits with just my mum and sister. I remember visits with the whole family. My sister and I would be at the children's side looking through books. If we saw one we liked the first thing we would do is run across to the adults books to hunt out our parents and show them. It always seemed like a long hunt because of course then the library was ginormous. I remember going home as a family and sitting reading with no TV on until it was bed time (although my sister who could barely stand the quiet would wonder off before then).
Whilst I don't remember getting my first library card I do remember getting my grown up card. I was so excited about that because it meant more books. Of course my mum was already loaning out my excess books for me but I now didn't have to rely on her being there. Plus I liked the fact that my card was no longer pink. I think it was from then on that I had many visits to the library myself or with my best friend. I even started taking trips to other libraries. I probably wouldn't have read most of Stephen Kings backlist by now if it hadn't been for those libraries.
I didn't actually intend to stop going but I got my first job and the first thing I started buying was my own books. We all know how addictive book buying is. Especially when previously getting a book of your own was a treat. Of course I bought more books than I can read (and still do). After my degree I began working full time in a book shop and of course that also meant discount and my book buying increased. I was an advocate for our libraries. More than once I expressed my outrage at the threat of closures. Yet somehow not finding the time to go back (yep, my BF has admonished me over and over for this).
I am a student again and on a budget and even though I somehow have less time I have made my way back to my library. Except it's not my library anymore. My old library has moved into an architecture winning building. It's all modern, concrete and metal. You no longer have to be quiet. There is a cafe in there. Also the local swimming pool, college and arts center are all under the same roof. I expected to be horrified by this but whilst I still feel nostalgia for the old building (I can only find images of the outside which is an ugly building) I like this modern new look.
I was there a few weeks ago with my sister and I was impressed by the selection of new fiction books. I was back there again today with my mum this time. My mum has gotten out of the habit of visits too thanks to my staff discount over the years. She has been encouraged by my successful visit to go back. There are no hushed tones and the tables are filled with college students. Gone are the old men in the corner who are there every week, every year, sleeping. The coffee shop even sells alcohol. Why that should surprise me I don't know but it did. We stuck to the coffee though which was quite nice. I like the idea of having online access to my library account and being able to request books that way too. I've already borrowed a few books that I probably wouldn't have bought myself. I can see many visits in the future, especially now there is coffee on the offer.
Oh, and funnily enough these images aren't mine. They actually came from architecture websites.