I missed National Library Day – on purpose. There shouldn’t just be one day when everyone focuses on an issue, organisation etc. If you’re serious about something, it should get your support far more often than one day a year (or even the week which is being introduced in 2017 to promote libraries). So, I’m taking this opportunity to promote libraries and the services they provide.
In our area local libraries in Hillingdon provide a service for independent Reading Groups – this is a fantastic time saver for the organiser and as I’m sure I’ve mentioned elswhere has led our group to read books we might not have considered before. Seeing the diversity of people in the libraries is an inspiration – I know some of our authors frequent libraries for research, meetings and to take out books.
Perusing the displays is a good way to see what is popular, get ideas on covers, font styles and settings and inspiration.
Local libraries in both Hillingdon and Three Rivers provide meeting spaces for writers’ groups and also host reading groups for all ages and abilities. Rickmansworth has a Chatterbooks for children which reviews books whilst Hillingdon has a Dementia Reading Group. Fantastic! CarePlace in Hillingdon has a range of activities at Uxbridge Library.
Going back in time, during the 1930s, libraries played an important role in keeping the homeless warm (they might still do today) – I recall George Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier talks about this – and I’ve noticed in travelling into more deprived areas in both the UK and on the African continent that libraries are crucial to those who aren’t able to buy books, or need a quiet place to study.
Libraries have changed since I was a little girl, they’re now learning centres and media centres and although I miss the old fashioned library, I understand the reason for the change. Libraries have kept time with the changing technologies their users engage with. And because of this they remain a vital part of society, readers’ and writers’ lives.
Thanks Pablo for the image