Libraries

a-to-z HEADER [2017] - april

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.

George-Lucas-Library.png

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.

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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.

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22 thoughts on “Libraries

  1. Thank you for reminding us that libraries an important part of any community. That they provide so much more than books. Often libraries have genealogical golden nuggets and the librarians tend to be very informative.

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  2. Thank you for honouring libraries in your post. Even though I haven’t been in a library in 2 years, I respect their work and I absolutely love the atmosphere when I step into one. A place filled with thoughts, knowledge all for us to discover – what’s not to like? I had a lot of resistance to kindle but after I went minimalistic with possessions, it became invaluable. I can now take all my books with me wherever I go – and I do move a lot so it’s absolutely essential 🙂

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  3. Your post took me back to my childhood days, when we had plenty of libraries in the neighborhood. Specially during vacation time, I would spend all nights with my books. Unfortunately libraries are dwindling now. Like you too, I too am not a big fan of kindle but more loyal to the book 🙂

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    • We are all busy nowadays and when we can get on-line what we used to find in libraries I can understand why they are not used as once intended. However, I do feel those libraries that have retained their status in the community are the ones that have been able to keep up with the demands of technology. Thank you for visiting 🙂 Linda

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  4. Like yourself, I’m an avid reader. I love books, I read every single day without fail and often for many hours at a time. I also have a Kindle but as you so eloquently put it “I feel like a traitor to the printed word” when I use it (despite how convenient and instant it can be). As for libraries, aside from during my days at university, I can’t say I’ve ever used one. I’ve certainly thought about it but for some reason the act of going to one has just never happened. Great post, Linda!

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  5. Great post, Linda. Long live libraries!!

    George Lucas is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as the founder of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. A multi-millionaire at least, and so able to have that magnificent library.

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    • We’re at the stage of life when we’re considering downsizing Julie so having our own library is something I have to let go. However, I am grateful I can visit one whenever I like. Thanks for the visit and stopping to comment 🙂 Linda

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  6. I love libraries too, but nowadays I don’t get to go to libraries very often. Being an introvert the environment of a library is quite appealing to me. Indeed, a safe and comfortable public place. I am currently using my kindle more frequently but I feel the same about it. Plus I have noticed I read faster when I read via a paper book. For book clubs and all I have found refuge in Goodreads
    Enjoyed your post thanks for sharing 🙂
    Best Wishes!

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    • Ah Karnika, Goodreads is something I recently discovered and love it. I set myself a reading challenge this year. Thank you for the visit and stopping to comment 🙂 Linda

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  7. How can I not love this post? You paid tribute to me! Well, not me, but certainly what I do and all of my wonderful colleagues around the world doing the same thing. Thanks, Linda… and don’t feel guilty about that Kindle. It all evens out in the wash. 🙂 – Marty

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