Monday, 3 February 2014

Libraries... use them, or lose them?

The library - use it, love it, join it... or lose it?
This Saturday, the 8th of February, is National Libraries Day. As an avid reader and wannabe writer, libraries are special places for me, and I'm very lucky in this regard: there's a well-stocked and active library in the village, and I'm just five miles, as the crow flies, from the busiest library in Britain. And my parents are still regular customers of the mobile library van they took me to as a child.

National Libraries Day seeks to celebrate the diverse services modern libraries offer, in the hope that those who have forgotten their value get a timely reminder. And timely is the operative word there, for in these days of austerity, library budgets are an easy target for council spending cuts. First there will just be shorter opening hours, then there will be fewer mobile libraries, and finally just fewer libraries of any description... and that would be a calamity.

So take a look at National Libraries Day, see what's going on at a library near you or, better still, simply dust off your library card and go and get a book out. At the risk of stating the obvious, the easiest way to support, and hence preserve, your local library is simply to use it for its primary purpose.

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