Today I took the little one for her first visit to the library. Actually, it was more for my benefit than hers as I wanted to use the computers to print something out. I could have done it at work I suppose, but there’s always that worry that the one time you jam the printer will be when you’re printing that non-work document.
I’m ashamed to say that this was my first visit to the library in what must be years. Every time I heard of another library closure I feel incredibly sad, yet I, like most of us, just don’t make enough use of them anymore. When I was a kid the library was practically my second home; there was nothing I loved more than returning home with a pile of books to work my way through. I used to thrive on it so much that I actually kept a record of everything I’d read. Without my local library, the pages in that journal would be far emptier, as they certainly all wouldn’t have been bought for me brand new at £7.99 a pop, and I may not have become the Avid reader I was and still am today.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would expect to see children in the library on a Saturday afternoon, and I don’t know if my outing yesterday is representative of all days, but I saw none. Maybe they were all at home glued to a screen of some sort.
While the children’s section looked pretty interesting (toys and some sort of castle to sit in to read) I do think the facilities for adults could be improved, however. I got myself logged in to one of the computers and I kid you not, I was over 30 minutes in to my allotted hour before I’d managed to get an internet browser open and into my emails to find the file I wanted to print. I was so infuriated by the slowness of it all that, after seeing the ‘not responding’ message at the top of the screen for the umpteenth time I was ready to go home empty handed. Don’t get my wrong, the fact that the library offers use of a computer and access to the internet (for free) to those who may not have the facilities at home is great, and maybe we’ve just got too used to things being instant (today reminded me of the days when we used to have to wait for the modem to dial up).
I did do what I needed to in the end, and bought my little one a board book from the 10p sale trolley as well. Can’t complain about that.
I’m planning on taking the little one back for one of their ‘story time’ sessions soon, and am hoping that she’ll develop the same appetite for reading that I had when I was younger. From this day on, I vow to make more use of our local library service.