My love of books and reading I inherited from my parents, both avid readers. My mother belonged to book clubs, my father to libraries, no wonder I grew up believing books are one of life’s great pleasures and treasures. Perhaps not solely because I am an introvert but libraries have been a sanctuary from noise and busyness most of my life. I love the atmosphere that oozes respect for the visitor and of course that introvert-enticing snippet of library etiquette that suggests muted voices makes it a place of respite. Libraries are a safe haven into which I can dissolve and be enveloped by the sumptuosity of silence.
Whoever George Lucas is, this is his library. I think heaven will have one of these.
Despite my love of libraries I do own a Kindle and truth be known I am conflicted each time I pick up the device. I feel like a traitor to the printed word and that I am betraying local libraries. The technological revolution was years ahead of my childhood yet I adapted well, too well. When I step inside a library now it is to seek solace from the work day and find ‘quiet’ in which to be still and allow my mind to settle.
Libraries attract individuals, groups and sometimes whole communities who understand the quality of learning that happens in these repositories of the written word. Unlike the libraries of my childhood, today’s libraries have communication boards to advertise upcoming events. Today’s libraries reach out to the isolated and encourage Mums with Bubs to meet weekly for companionship and provide a time for babies and toddlers to socialise.
One of the libraries on my weekly circuit has two odd contraptions hanging on the wall. The information blurb alongside tells me I can borrow one of these to measure the electricity each of my home appliances use. Behind a glassed in section of this library a group of ladies are knitting bandages for a leper colony. At the opposite end of the library the genealogy group has their monthly meet.
I have noticed the tempo of the library lifts when school is out. Mothers and children come to exchange books and visit displays. Even though work keeps me from participating in the many interest groups of my local library I make a point of picking up my library’s monthly bookmark. These advertise what is happening in the coming month and I collect bookmarks and these are different.
While I love the portability of a library of books on my Kindle, I cannot image a community without a library. Today libraries are about so much more than books and learning which must make the task of modern librarians difficult. Their work strengthens our communities and helps preserve the written word.
Librarians are educators, communicators, public relations experts who write promotional material and they are planners who anticipate reading trends. They are collaborators of school curriculums and by default disciplinarians of youngsters left in libraries while parents escape to tend their to do list in peace. Personally, my tribute is to librarians everywhere who tend the safe spaces of public learning and create an environment to read freely and explore extravagantly.
Apologies for the poor formatting of this post. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I tweak the paragraph breaks WordPress has decided it will do its own thing.
This month I am participating in the A-Z Challenge. The challenge is to post six days a week during the month of April using a letter of the alphabet for each post. My theme during this challenge is that of values. You can find out more about the challenge here.