Your Local Library is Your Friend

I was recently in my local library. It is a nice place – airy, light, quiet and generally a peaceful place to be. The staff are always polite and everyone seems to know what they are doing. I often go there.

There was a varied amount of activity. Some people were reading books, others a newspaper or magazine. One chap was sleeping (he seemed unaware of anything around him). There was a gallery of local artists and my particular library is part of a wider complex which includes a theatre and coffee bar (and, of course, toilets).

It got me thinking, what I actually gain from this place. After all, isn’t everything done online – large, well-staffed institutions seem to be a bit archaic. I started to list the benefits of my local library:

  • a place to be quiet away from the kids / wife / dog / postman
  • a place to be able to use computers (yes, all libraries have them)
  • excellent staff – nothing is too much trouble
  • I can get any book from almost anywhere at almost no cost
  • huge and important reference works are available to me
  • I discover areas to research that I never knew possible
  • I can take books home (even ones that cost huge amounts)
  • I can print, scan and photocopy stuff

I could go on. I truly believe that most of us under-utilise our libraries. There is an amazing array of facilities on hand to use whenever we want (within reason).

Perhaps that is the main problem – my library is not open long enough.