Celebrate National Libraries Day (6 Feb) Tell us what your library mean to you

(57 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Feb-16 16:02:55

It's National Libraries Day on Saturday 6 February and the Mumsnet Books team wants to show our support as we think they're worth celebrating. Tell us what your local library means to you by Sunday 7 February and you'll be entered into a draw to win a bundle of great books for you and your dcs. Winner will be announced next Monday (8 Feb).

NotJanine Tue 02-Feb-16 09:52:11

I love libraries - they are a place of peace, tranquility (except during baby singalong sessions!) and, of course oddles and oodles of free books! It is sad that they are now not so widely used.

I have a clear memory from childhood when I first visited the library in a nearby town, the quivering excitement of seeing all the books, and the amazement I felt when I was told I could choose a whole pile to borrow.

Some people get excited over shoes and handbags, for me it is books.

Sadik Tue 02-Feb-16 10:28:47

Currently it means a lot of work, as I'm on a group attempting to save our local one from closure!!!

NotJanine Tue 02-Feb-16 11:12:48

Good luck * Sadik* hope your campaign is successful

Sadik Tue 02-Feb-16 11:25:10

Thank you smile

gailforce1 Wed 03-Feb-16 21:25:39

Best of luck Sadik. Our county council, having closed branches, is now setting about reducing the mobile libraries.

cressetmama Fri 05-Feb-16 12:58:23

Libraries were my salvation as a young bookworm, in the days when I had time to read books by the dozen. I am still a borrower in two counties, plus the mobile library.

However, council funding cuts mean that our visits have been steadily whittled down to monthly, from weekly, then fortnightly. Our librarians knew what everyone liked, suggested titles and authors people might enjoy, saved new books for pet readers, and chose a selection for house-bound regulars, which were collected and delivered by their friends, generally without sending the same books twice.

Sadly library services are a shadow of what they were once. In my parents and grandparents youth, they were the means to an education for people who left school at 14.

Good luck from me too, Sadik.

Sadik Fri 05-Feb-16 16:31:44

Fingers crossed it's all quite optimistic (?!) Our library (very small rural town) was going to be shut entirely, but the Council offered that if as a town we can take it over as a community library (ie pay the rent/bills/run it as volunteers) they will still provide some paid staff hours, book stock, IT etc.

There's been a fantastic response from the town, and we're very hopeful that actually we may end up with a better library and especially have a lot more resources for young children and retired people (we have a lot of both! obviously actually now I think about it what we need is a grandparents and childrens club!!!)

Sadik Fri 05-Feb-16 16:32:33

Our librarian is a total star cressetmama - she does exactly the sorts of things you mention, and is always smiling and lovely to everyone smile

MauriceMossMug Fri 05-Feb-16 17:01:12

I've recently joined the local library and I'm amazed at how modern and high tech it is, not to mention it's open 7 days a week!
I know how incredibly lucky we are to have this facility and try to support it as much as I can.

DD adores being read to and as she has a speech delay its very important that she hears a variety of words repeated to her.
So the library means an awful lot to me as a tool to help my DD talk and instil in her a love of reading that will hopefully last a lifetime.

CopperPan Fri 05-Feb-16 17:25:08

I love my local library, there's a great selection of young adult fiction for the dcs and plenty of tables with electrical sockets and free wifi for me. It's also a great local resource to find out what's going on in the local area, I often find out about events and opportunities from posters and flyers there.

IPityThePontipines Fri 05-Feb-16 17:47:38

I love our local library and our local council for being able to keep every one of them open, despite fierce cuts.

Libraries are the heart of the community, where you can find out what activities are happening locally. Ours run lots of activities for all ages.

However, more importantly a library is a portal into another world through the medium of books. Everyone should have access to a library, because everyone can benefit from what a library has to offer.

Sadik I wish you every success with your campaign smile

Campaspe Fri 05-Feb-16 18:58:46

Libraries have been a lifesaver for me and I think I mean that literally. When DD was a colicky baby, I had severe PND and found it difficult to leave the house. Our local library welcomed us, allowed me to sit with DD sharing books and never asked us to leave, even when she was screaming (which was pretty much all the time, tbh). As DD grew, she enjoyed the rhymetimes, story times, summer reading challenge etc and I enjoyed the books, DVDs, making local friends and keeping abreast of what was going on locally. DD is now 9 and an avid reader. We still hang out there all the time, as I can't afford to buy the books we get through. Just how many mums, I wonder, have found libraries to be an utter salvation during those baby years in particular? Thank God for libraries, and I hope they survive the current cutbacks and last for another 200 years.

SilverMachine Fri 05-Feb-16 20:02:32

That's wonderful Sadik! It sounds like a great thing to be involved in.

My local library was a sanctuary for me as a teen. My home life was chaotic due to both my parents being alcohol and drug dependant. The library offered me an escape from home that I wouldn't have otherwise had. From around the age of fourteen I started reading books from the Classics section alphabetically. Some I loved, some I hated and some books I just didn't understand but I feel as if I had a whole education in literature for free. I did later go on to achieve a degree in English literature and I doubt that would not have been possible without having the access to books that the local library offered.

Libraries offer so many services to the community, Internet access for example which not everyone can afford. In my mind, access to books or the Internet and therefore by default, education should be available to everyone not just those who can afford it.

StitchesInTime Fri 05-Feb-16 20:40:22

I love libraries. They're peaceful havens of tranquillity. Unless I have the DC with me. Then I'm trying to distract them from racing around on the chairs in the children's section by waving exciting looking books at them. (The library has chairs in the shape of dogs in the children's section)

I'm lucky enough to live near one that's still open 6 days a week (although sadly other nearby ones have had their opening hours slashed).

I love reading, and libraries have saved me a lot of money over the years. The libraries in my county have a good selection of books, with cheap reservation fees. It's a fantastic way to discover good new books and new authors.

cressetmama Fri 05-Feb-16 20:41:44

One of my favourite librarians (employed partly for his HGV license I suspect) introduced me to the concept of sheep slamming! Once DS and I had picked ourselves off the floor from laughing, we realised (well, I knew) that his wife bred and judged sheep at county level and that he was talking about the lambing season.

Manamanah Fri 05-Feb-16 20:47:01

We've very recently rediscovered libraries through rhythm&rhyme. I find myself astounded that something like this is provided for no charge. We've started taking out books for my son-9 at a time! I can't believe I've been buying books for the last 2 years. Today I found a notice advertising a 'dementia chat' afternoon as a support for sufferers and their carers. UK libraries are a phenomenal institution.

lemonymelanie Fri 05-Feb-16 20:47:10

My local library is an oasis of information, learning opportunities and online access for all.

It is a welcoming community space, with cheerful staff ( who offer tea and coffee and biscuits/home baking for customers on Fridays - provided by the staff themselves).

It's a very happy place, no shooshing, lots of laughter and chatter ( there is a quiet reading room for undisturbed studying) and everyone feels welcome. It has a really lovely friendly reputation.

On National Libraries Day, ( and every day) it's so important to support the library - and tell the staff we appreciate them and all they still manage to do for us considering budget constraints and lack of staff.

We are so lucky to still have libraries.
We will miss them when they are gone.

cressetmama Fri 05-Feb-16 21:04:27

We shall lemony, more than anyone realises, and it will be difficult/impossible to reconstruct.

purplepandas Fri 05-Feb-16 21:46:19

I just love our library. Books are my solace. A fab place to let the children look for fun books and read whilst I also get to have a look at books I love. I particularly love academic libraries. They are my ultimate library.

chillycurtains Fri 05-Feb-16 21:59:20

With a very heavy heart I say that I think the lack of traffic on this post shows how libraries are not actually loved and supported by the majority of people. Sadly this is reflected in the user statistics too.

We will all regret this decision when we lost them for good but no amount of campaigning seems to get the general public through the door. Individuals love their local library but as a whole society no longer see their value. Probably because we are getting more selfish as a whole and if we can afford books and Internet at home then forget everyone else.

lemonymelanie Fri 05-Feb-16 22:07:27

chilly - I was thinking the same thing - the slow thread here illustrates the lack of traffic in the libraries too.

I imagine there are many armchair supporters of the libraries, but unless they get out and actively support their library by using it - contributing footfall and borrowing books, libraries will become fewer and fewer - low hanging fruit easily picked off during budget cuts.

All the best Sadik ( up thread) in your efforts.

cornflakegirl Fri 05-Feb-16 22:52:51

I love our library too. These days I mainly reserve books and just pop in to pick them up. We have restricted hours, but self-service for most of Saturday. If we do pop in for a browse then both DC will settle down with some old favourites. We also like to borrow audiobooks if we have a long drive.

magimedi Fri 05-Feb-16 22:55:31

I love my small, local library. I know all the staff well & feel welcomed when I go.

Most of all I love their on line facility.

I can order any book I want & if it is in the county it costs me the princely sum of 60p.

Bargain of the year, if not the century.

Use 'em or lose 'em.

I am amazed by how many people don't use their local library.

bluebump Fri 05-Feb-16 23:07:52

We love our local library and are lucky that it's open 5 days a week. My DS has been going since he was little and we spend time at weekends and holidays there. It is well staffed and thankfully well used. I always used to go to the library with my parents at weekthe nods and I'm glad my DS loves to go too.

I also work in a library/learning centre in an FE college. I can often be found "tidying the shelves" with my head stuck in another good book I've found!

Good luck Sadik!

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