Booking through Thursday

This weeks BTT

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

Past readers of my BTT answers will know that, while I love public libraries, I can’t really go and borrow items anymore because of my chronic fine-accumulating behaviour. I do drop in to read magazines and lust after the recently returned shelves, imagining what I could read if only I’d paid my fines or, better yet, never accumulated them in the first place.

As a young child, I was lucky enough to live around the corner fom the library (the same library I live near now in fact!) and I would go and stay there until closing time. I would spend endless summer and winter days there, from dawn to dusk. I became such a fixture there that Iwas a favourite with the librarians and they let me join them behind the desk! They also let me help them with things such as scanning items in and sticking barcodes on new items. It was thrilling! I’m very thankful for the kindness the librarians showed me.

Libraries have changed quite a bit since my days (and I’m only in my early twenties!) and I’m very disappointed that it’s the trend nowadays for noisy libraries. People have their mobiles on, talk at the top of their lungs and kids run screaming about. I find more peace in a bookshop. So obviously, I prefer dark and quiet libraries – the ways libraries are supposed to be, in my opinion.

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5 comments

  1. I once was a member of a library that let you pay your fines with donations of canned goods for the local food pantry. They did this 2 or 3 times a year. It was very popular.

  2. Here, here on your disappointment at the trend nowadays for noisy libraries. Mark my words: noisy libraries today = world anarchy tomorrow (and I ain’t kidding :-))
    Happy BTT
    Rob

  3. I was such a magnet to libraries when I was young. I still remembered that sensation of getting my library card—that felt so privileged and special!

    I love reading my own books at the library these days! 🙂 That said, I’m justified to visit my favorite bookstores almost every other day.

    As to noisy libraries, yes, that can be very frustrating. People seem to be completely okay with talking on the phone inside the libraries. At least my campus library is still a quiet refuge for reading.

  4. I share your pain with the chronic fee-accumulating syndrome except I racked up fees on my mum’s account and then only recently got my own. My local library has a disappointing collection though, and between kids screaming in the children’s section and obnoxious ringtones (Rihanna and other such travesties of music), I prefer second-hand bookshops. Especially the ones where you can trade books back and get half your money back (I never trade them back though).

    When I lived in Melbourne the Rowville library was my hangout. My mum could just leave me there all day while she did Mum stuff.

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