Disclaimer: I am a library advocate. I hate that they’re dying out. This is not an anti-library post. I can also only speak about my local library.
Recently I decided to start using my local library. I loved it there as a kid and now I’ve moved back to Linlithgow for good I decided to sign back up and start using it.
There is so much potential in a library. It has the potential to be a safe space for people and a place where people can discover a love of books. It just needs to put a bit of effort in.
Today is world book day and you know what my library is doing for it? Nothing. All the kids of gone to school today dressed as book characters and been given books. They finish school at lunch time on a Friday here and what better opportunity for the library than to have something exciting in this afternoon. But they have nothing.
The staff are quite frankly miserable. I’m sure that’s at least partly because they get terrible pay and hate their jobs but my library is not a welcoming place. I go in and feel like I shouldn’t be there.
They could be running book clubs, literacy classes, have a study space for young people, they could be getting people excited about reading. But they aren’t. I don’t think it’s the staff’s fault, they don’t have the time or resources. But if we want our libraries to survive they need to change. Because right now all I see is a library that hasn’t changed since I was 8 and has no plans on changing anytime soon. The world is constantly changing and the library needs to change with it.
I would love to know what the libraries in your towns are like.
How can we help make the desperately needed changes?