Friday 6 February 2015

All Hail the Public Library User! #NLD15

With sham consultations, cuts to outreach, a seemingly universal hollowing out of local library services/staff and ever increasing push towards commercialism you can't help but wonder if anyone in authority is listening to users?
Since it's National Libraries Day I thought I'd do something to help reverse this worrying trend and hand my blog over to the people who really matter, the library users.
I asked public library users in London, adults and children, to send me comments about why they love their libraries, here's a selection;

"The library has been my salvation.
I met new friends here and have continued to enjoy the library and all that it provides.
My children have also gained so much attending the library, it’s priceless! – from the very popular Baby Rhyme time sessions; Story Explorers provided a fun storytelling and craft sessions; the summer time holiday reading challenge , a great incentive to encourage children to keep reading; learning to knit and crochet which they enjoyed immensely; to Kumon sessions to help them with their maths. But above all, to watch them become confident, avid readers and develop a great enthusiasm and enjoyment of books. It is a wonderful thing when they find a book they can’t stop reading!
During our visits we have been looked after by professional librarians, whom my children recognise and look forward to seeing."

"I love my library because it has amazing books. I like 'Horrid Henry and the Sleepover'"

"The Library has provided a lifeline to me as one of the only FREE, warm, friendly and educational places where I have been able to take my daughter as a baby, a toddler and now as a nine year old attending the local Primary School.
> Over the years, my library has proved a joy and a sanctuary to me.
> We still use it weekly, as, indeed, do all the local schools. For students, particularly from the nearby estate, it provides computer access and a warm, quiet place to study. It is the hub of the vibrant local community."

"I love my library because it's really spacious and the books aren't crammed onto the shelves. I like reading 'Alice and the Magical Dog'"

"Our library is at the heart of the community in this area and is widely used by all members of the population, from students making use of the facilities for studying, to others needing use of a computer, elderly people seeking a quiet environment to read papers and journals, as well as the more traditional use of borrowing books and DVDs. Insofar as the latter is concerned, with a burgeoning young population in this area, the children's section is ever more popular and absolutely essential for their proper development. Furthermore, the staff at the library are always friendly and helpful which must be extremely difficult for them, particularly in the current circumstances."

"I love my library because it has a SMART table and i really like to play games on it"

"Our library is part of a vibrant local community – a much used and loved local resource. My children, who are pupils at the local Primary School, regularly use the library. As a family we visit the library often – and have done since my children were much younger, when they enjoyed rhyme time and other events. As a book-lover I have visited and enjoyed libraries since my childhood – and continue to use the local library for my own reading. Having been brought up with libraries, I know from my own experience how they can become a formative part of growing up and learning to enjoy and love books and reading. Take away or reduce the library offer and this opportunity will be taken away from future generations.
But the library isn’t just for schoolchildren and young families. It’s for everyone. Every time I visit I am struck by the range of people using the library – from older residents, who perhaps don’t have internet access at home, to teenagers and young people researching career opportunities, alongside a rich variety of community groups."

"I love my library because there are so many good books to look at. I like finding out information."

"The libraries are one of the most civilising service that .......... Council is responsible for running and must continue to be provided for the benefit of all in the constituency."

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