I have just begun my celebrations for National libraries day by pre ordering the Library Book from Amazon. Looks like it will be a genuinely good read and with profits going to the Reading Agency it should provide that glow inside of doing something good at the same time. I was shocked to read on a blog from Ian Clark (http://infoism.co.uk/blog/2012/01/no-national-libraries-day-in-kent/ )that the Kent Libraries will not be celebrating National Libraries Day .....or was I? My local library is in Greenhithe, it's in a small building that is set back from the road and is extremely easy to miss. Once you do realise that it exists a warm welcome greets you when you go in. The staff are friendly and helpful and I always enjoy chatting to them. The stock however wouldn't encourage anyone to pop in - to be honest I often struggle to find anything vaguely current to read and the books are looking tired and uncared for. Their funding in the last few years must have been nearly non existent and the books are sadly out of date. There are always people there when I visit but then as the library is only open for 2 afternoons and 1 morning a week I suppose they are making the most of it.
The library is just opposite the entrance of Ingress Park estate and I would have thought that it would be overrun with customers. Apparently one of the staff approached the libraries service with a plan to leaflet the area to make people more aware of the resource they have on their doorstep, but this plan was denied as any literature has to be standardised and approved - so nothing was done. The neglect of the library is saddening and a crying shame but as there are plans afoot to close some Kent libraries it's not hard to see why no effort at promotion has been made by the council.
The fact that there is no mention of a day that has been organised to celebrate the contribution libraries make on the Kent Libraries webpage is an utter disgrace - and seems to be a cynical political decision. Kent County Council you should be very ashamed!