Today to show my support for Save Libraries Day I joined my local public library which is only 10 minutes walk away. I'm ashamed that I have not done so before, but in my defence it is only open for roughly 9 hours a week and is very poorly publicised. It is small, rather shabby outside and sits back from the road and I'd be surprised if many of the other residents are aware that it even exists. The residents association website doesn't mention the library and apparently the council publicity department are aware of this but haven't yet got round to writing anything. (Funny that, you would almost think they don't want to increase loans............) . Whilst I was there a young girl was getting some help from the librarian to choose books from different genres that she had on a list and two people were engrossed in surfing the internet.
The stock shows a lack of funding for the last few years at least but there are still gems to be found - I took out 14 books of the possible 30 I am allowed. Browsing the shelves encouraged me to break out of my usual favourite genres (although naturally some slipped into the bag!) and I'm looking forward to curling up with them. Didn't borrow any DVDs this time but will do in the future.
The librarian was lovely, so welcoming and she lives very local to the library so is a mine of information. She told me that a new toddler group they have recently set up is very well attended. The area around is full of new housing and there must be hundreds of potential borrowers but they do need to be shown that the library is there!
At the moment I don't think the library is at threat of closure but the policy of making libraries in the area self service will inevitably have an effect. The librarian, Ms Jones is the biggest asset this poor forgotten library has - long may we keep her in Greenhithe!
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.