National Library Week

April 13, 2010 Whitney books 9 Comments

National Library Week is being observed April 11 -April 17 and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts on my local library.

I think it can be assumed that I have always loved to read and remember walking to the library when I was younger with a wagon which badly needed a paint job.  Between my brother and I we easily filled our “book mobile”   and were usually pretty good about returning them on time.

Flash forward  fifteen years, and while I can still walk to the library it won’t be for much longer.  My town’s library board is a bit like the supreme court,  all board members are getting old (or older) and most likely will never leave the board until they are six feet under.  While this may be harsh it is very true in my case.  For the past five years they have been in the process of raising money to build a new, bigger and better library.   I think we do need one as we are outgrowing the library we have now with no room to expand. Unfortunately, the current library is downtown but the land bought is on the outskirts of city limits which I find frustrating as it is difficult for most of the community to walk there.  The one disagreement that has been brought numerous times by community members and at city hall is why they won’t build it in one of our parks, which is mostly green space.  I believe they are stuck in their ways and nothing anyone can say will change their thought process.  An example of this is that to build the new library funds of 3 million dollars need to be raised and only half of that has been collected.  Wouldn’t that show that the community doesn’t want the public library in said location.  Apparently, we needn’t bother because as the years pass on the design of both square footage and quality of materials has been scaled back to such large proportions that it will only be a few 100 feet larger than the current building compared to the proposed thousand.   

Even though National Library Week is meant to appreciate libraries, I’m finding it very difficult at this time.  I really do love public libraries which they are and should be a pillar and central to a community and think it’s wonderful that we have a week to recognize them.


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9 responses to “National Library Week

  1. It is unfortunate that you have experienced some of the nonsense that goes on in cities and counties that hold libraries hostage. The sad thing is that most of the people who make these decisions are not the biggest patrons of the library. It sounds like they need to listen to the community and more importantly to the "customers" of the library to determine what makes sense.

  2. Kim

    Amen to that. I also hope libraries and books don't become extinct with the saturation of online products and services. I also love that I can request a book and they will hunt it down for me and all I have to do is go pick it up.

    Excuse my memory, but are you the blogger that had such a wonderful brother who introduced her to the world of reading?

  3. Kathleen– You are so right, and so is or should be the "customer".

    Kim–I was actually think the other day about ebooks replacing books on paper. I don't think or hope it ever will; but if so that will be a sad day. Also, while I think my brother is wonderful, he didn't introduce me to reading. It's funny because my parents read the same amount to each of us growing up; I turned out to be a vivacious reader and he only reads when necessary.

  4. I am so sorry you are having such unpleasant experiences. I don't have a decent library anywhere near my house and usually go the British Council library around forty five minutes from my house. It is worth the trouble though, I pick up some very nice books!

  5. Im really really lucky, my library card works for any library in Surrey county (there are around 50 of them) and if I take a book out of one library I dont have to bring it back to that one. They will also for a small fee take a book out of one library and put it in a more local one for me to pick up.

    This is great as my local one is rubbish for books and is a tiny tiny library. There are a couple of librarys in the UK that will lend electronic books, no idea how this works but at least they are looking to the future. I should do a post on this 😉

  6. Vaishnavi– That is great that you have a wonderful library, even if it is 40 minutes away it's always a good feeling to know that it was worth the trip.

    Jessica– I can't remember how many libraries there are in my district but I love that I can order books too. I also have electronic books at the local library, but am not really sure what they are either. But I agree, at least they are looking forward and not backward.

    I hope this post doesn't come off as sounding bitter, because I'm really not, just irked by small town politics.

  7. at least you get to leave with the books! the libraries i deal with (national library of scotland, bodleian library, oxford and the library of congress) invite you to go through a tortuous request process on little bits of pink paper, wait an hour and then use the books under strict supervision. ick but worth it!

  8. i really dont have much fear for public libraries. they may adjust a little, but inevitably, our connection with them is too strong.

    in my city, they just unleashed plans to create a new satellite location recently.

    now, living in the portland oregon area, there is a huge book community here, so i know it is out of the norm for most major US cities, but it is still a positive sign that shouldnt be ignored.

    ~~

    now, libraries in our school system, this is where my fear lies.

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