Thursday, 9 September 2010

Kimm Walker: In praise of libraries

Sailor from the U.S. Navy reading to children in a branch of Detroit Public LibrariesLibraries are so much more than dusty old book repositories. When I was housebound with my very young children in a remote village, the mobile library was a lifeline to the outside world. The friendly librarian would bring books especially for me and recommend new authors.

We moved to a larger village when my children were still pre-school age and regular visits to the little local library were a highlight in their week. Money is usually tight for young families and ours was no exception. The library meant we could satisfy our children’s voracious appetite for new stories. The holiday story-telling events were much enjoyed by them and the respite appreciated by me. The reading challenges, complete with prizes, encouraged my boys to keep reading, as they grew older and there was more competition for their time. The library system played no small part in helping them both to become university graduates.

I continue to use the libraries in my area for Internet access, which is unreliable where I live, to borrow books and for some of the many other services on offer. I belong to a readers’ group and a writers’ group, both of which meet and are supported by the library. They also hold many and varied events, such as author readings, workshops, a Christmas celebration and take part in the Arts Festivals in the area. They display and promote books and paintings by local people.

In short, libraries are an integral and vital part of our communities. Without them the gulf between rich and poor would be missing important bridges.



Lindsay Townsend said...

I agree, Kimm, about libraries closing one gap between rich and poor.

Great post!

Celia Yeary said...

KIMM--nice blog about your love of libraries, be they small or large. I've never seen a mobile library, but I know aobut them--great idea. Celia

Lindsay Townsend said...

Celia - mobiles are great! They have the fastest change over of stock and really get about. They can be massive or tiny vans. Home visits too can be a person with a bundle of books - perfect for those who are house-bound and fancy some company and some new reads.

Savanna Kougar said...

Kimm, libraries are bridges to so many places we all want to go, places that are important to our souls.

Kimm said...

Thanks for your posts Celia, Lindsay and Savanna. Reading through everyone else's posts confirms how vital libraries are. They're worth fighting for!