This weeks Booking Through Thursday is all about libraries.
Suggested by Barbara:
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
It is only in recent months that I have started to use my local library service again, after many years of ignoring them. This is mainly due to my preference for owning books (which I have talked about before) over borrowing them. However, the discovery of online catalogs and reservation systems, has caused me to start using them again, and for the most part I’ve found it a positive experience.
I love bookshops, the smell, the feel, the ambiance, and I know both librarys and bookshops are both the same thing – rooms with books in them – but for some reason, I find my local library’s a little clinical/lacking in character, and I don’t actually ‘enjoy’ spending time in them. They’re just somewhere to go and pick up the next batch of books. Which is a real shame, as I can remember almost living in them as a kid!
I think a lot of it is because being a council run service where funding is tight and scrutinised, everything is all hard-wearing plastic chairs and Formica tables, and this, combined with the plastic covers they have to put on library books (understandably) to protect them, I find it really hard to connect with the space, but again I’ve only been using them again for a few months, so they are not yet ‘home’.
Even with all that and my aforementioned preference for owning books, if you were to put me in an old, dark library, with carved wood shelves and leather armchairs, and you’d have to prise me out of there!
But can I just say, an online reservations system? What a fantastic idea, I’m not sure how I ever mangaged with out it, and I’ve only been using ita couple of months!