I am grateful for libraries, these amazing hubs of knowledge accessible to the whole community. I only hope that they do not keep closing.
Throughout my childhood we were fortunate enough to have a library just a ten minute walk away. I clearly remember the large wooden tubs of books, little red chairs, Gumdrop books by Val Biro, prickly carpet on my bum and a librarian that looked like Windy Miller from Camberwick Green. (This was the 80's) In the days before the Internet, photocopying sections of huge dusty encyclopedias was the norm for your school projects. The library expanded conveniently when I was 12 to introduce a special area for Young Adults to meet, chat and play computer games on a top of the range Commodore *giggles*. I was given my first taste of independence and allowed to go just with friends. It became a more social place and less stereotypically silent. Thank you Coppice Avenue library for creating a bibliophile and for stocking all of the Sweet Valley High series.
Libraries offer the opportunity for all to educate, they provide entertainment and encourage community spirit. My local library is always jam packed with people using the computer suite, all manner of clubs and societies gather, there are activities for children and new artists showcase their work in the lobby. It's one of my favourite places.
However, I walk in last week and see an automated machine being installed. This saddens me. I hear of libraries being closed all over the country and it horrifies me. Little Bird and I love browsing around, choosing books and joining in with Rhyme Time. Seeing his chubby fingers clutching a Bookstart Bookcrawl certificate makes me so proud. Thank you library for providing my son with an ongoing supply of books whilst I'm on a strict budget, for sheltering me from the howling wind and rain from time to time and for hopefully encouraging him to love books too.