Did you know that tomorrow, 08 February 2014, is National Libraries Day?
Well, it is. There are loads of events taking place across the UK in local libraries. In Edinburgh there are book cafes, workshops, talks and give-aways at libraries around the city. I may go visit the National Library of Scotland tomorrow to see their ‘Wha’s like us?’ exhibition, as well as the lovely book sculptures on display.
I love my local libraries, and always have done. The first library I really hit hard was in Livingston (Carmondean, for any West Lothian readers). The children’s section had this strange square hole in it which you could sort of hide in with your books. I read just about everything in the kids section, and was given an adult card early so I could take out more. They used to let me borrow more than the card allowed as well (I read an awful lot).
Edinburgh has beautiful libraries. I love the multi-level libraries on George IV Bridge, the great dome in Leith library, and the high ceilings of Stockbridge library. I like looking up lists online and ordering all the books that take my fancy on the Edinburgh libraries phone app. I often forget what books I’ve ordered, so when I go to pick them up it’s like I’m getting a surprise present. I like how friendly and helpful the librarians are, and that many libraries have adapted to better suit working hours and the needs of the community. I like seeing families in the library, kids having fun, people using the PCs, attending classes, writing their own books, browsing the shelves, and even just reading newspapers and magazines to get out of the cold.
Of course, this comes in the wake of continued library closures by short sighted local councils. Just this morning it was announced that Wigtown library would be have its opening hours slashed. Wigtown is our national book town, a place with loads of bookshops and a brilliant annual book festival. For it to have a library open less than 20 hours a week is unbelievable, and it’s going to be a blow to those who can’t afford to buy books, and people who rely on the library services.
I believe that libraries are important. Do you? If so, take part in a National Libraries Day event tomorrow and show your support.
Photos above – Stockbridge Library
British Museum King’s Library gallery