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What does your local library mean to you?

(34 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 06-Feb-14 09:07:13

Saturday is National Libraries Day and sadly we're all too familiar with the threats of library closures.

Is yours a vital hub of your community? Housed in a historical building or place of interest (some have been seen popping up in old telephone boxes!) Do your grandchildren go to Rhyme Time or other classes there?

We'd love to know if your local library is doing anything special this weekend. If so please add it to Gransnet Local (it's simple and will take minutes) and help support one of the best resources in your community.

mollie Thu 06-Feb-14 09:48:20

Our main library is always looking for ways to encourage the community to walk through its doors so I'd be surprised if it wasn't doing something special this weekend. In recent years I've noticed change - it's no longer the silent, stuffy place all libraries were - there are study groups, places to get coffee, mother and toddler groups, beanbags for teenagers to lounge on and of course dozens of computers for people to use. It's a meeting place for all sorts of groups and for all ages. Long live the libraries!

Ariadne Thu 06-Feb-14 11:05:28

I haven't been near a library for years, despite being an avid reader, apart from delivering two enormous cartons to the library in Chatham, and another lot to a university library (all my Ed.D stuff)

I buy books, have a kindle, and have a lot of books in the house. I do however, honestly realise that I am fortunate to be able to buy books without counting the cost.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 06-Feb-14 11:15:13

Grandsons love their local library. So important for kids!

rosesarered Thu 06-Feb-14 11:25:41

Like Ariadne I haven't been in a library for a while, yes, buy books and buy for my Kindle also. However my daughter and grandson are frequent library goers,and we are fortunate in our part of Oxfordshire to have some really excellent libraries. All libraries have diversified, but some years ago were in danger of doing that to the detriment of actual book buying, but my daughter says that the libraries that she goes to seem to have sorted out the 'we must have everything going on here' attitude, and have got it right. More new books, child friendly comfy sections, some computers and a few dvds and cd sections, but generally leaning more back into books. Lots of things for children, story times etc. colouring and competitions with awards for reading.

Charleygirl Thu 06-Feb-14 11:31:11

Books have overtaken my house and I am in a similar position to Ariadne. I also buy books from charity shops. I take in a sackful and come out with a few more. Books are my life and have been since I was around 5 years old and went with my father to a private library and chose books for the old penny each.

Many elderly use the local small library as a place of warmth and comfort as they are unable to afford the cost of cental heating during the day.

Marelli Thu 06-Feb-14 16:09:51

I would really miss my library if it wasn't there. I also buy books at charity shops etc and take them back when read. I think on average I visit the library once a fortnight, taking out about 3 books or so each time. It's a modern building which has a reading group and a good, comfortable and colourful area for storytelling for younger children. Also there are DVDs and CDs available for rent along with a bank of computers which members can use. I frequently request books that I've read reviews, 'about which I have read reviews' (pedant alert)? blush

vegasmags Thu 06-Feb-14 17:52:11

I love my local library (let's hear it for Didsbury library!!!) and I would be lost without it. I can search online throughout the whole of the Manchester catalogue, request a book and have it delivered to my library, completely free of charge. They even email me when it's arrived. My reading habit has outstripped my budget and I really do value this unlimited access to books and information of all kinds. The staff are unfailingly helpful and patient. A few years ago, my computer died and I was unable to replace it for a few months until I had saved up. As I do all my banking etc online, I would have been completely stuck if it hadn't been for the computers at the library.

There are lots of activities going on too - story time, a health information point, a reading group and so on.

Stansgran Thu 06-Feb-14 17:52:13

I make a note of new books I think I would like from the week end papers and order them from the library online. It's about 30 p to order a book. I try to ordering batches and collect in means that I don't have to find shelf space and although I do buy books they are ones I want to keep.i stash up my kindle on the amazon daily deals and if I buy a paperback I try to lend it out and ask people to pass it on.the locall library has children's story time computer sessions. I've seen hooky mat sessions and Chinese New Year. It's thriving

tiggypiro Thu 06-Feb-14 18:37:34

I used to love our mobile library but it is sadly no more. Consequently I rarely visit a library. I now get my reading matter from a local charity shop for 20p (or 10p if they have loads to get rid of) each and return them when read. Far cheaper than paying a library fine !

harrigran Thu 06-Feb-14 18:40:24

Local library ? no such thing where I am.

newist Thu 06-Feb-14 19:34:44

Our library is about 25 miles away, its located in an excellent school. We also have a mobile one. The mobile one offers a wonderful service for young mothers and housebound people

Gorki Thu 06-Feb-14 19:47:36

I know which library you are talking about newist. I did a lot of my family history study there and I enjoyed the experience of being within a functioning school.

granniefinn Thu 06-Feb-14 20:23:09

I joined the book club at are library last year and it's great we chat about the book/ weather etc have a tea r coffee it's a great way to make new friends. when my granddaughter comes over to stay she loves to go and pick 3 books to read before she goes to bed .

newist Thu 06-Feb-14 20:26:09

Yes Gorki its a lovely school, I use the swimming pool, and we often have lunch while we are there

MadGrandma Thu 06-Feb-14 20:44:44

I used to be a librarian for Essex CC, and was part of the "revolution" where activities started to take place more regularly inside.
Now I'm retired, I find that I use my local library for non-fiction mainly. I usually get my fiction for my Kindle, as that means I can hang onto them! Our house is bursting at the seams with books as both of us collected them. Our daughter and granddaughter seem to have inherited the book gene as they use their local library for Rhyme Times and computer access.

nanakate Fri 07-Feb-14 08:43:00

We used to have a houseful of books, but when we went to live abroad for a while we gave them all away. Now we have downsized bigtime we use our local libraries, and it's great. In spite of being in one of the more disadvantaged boroughs in the UK we are well-served with libraries, and I can see how important they are in our communities, keeping people in touch with each other, giving marginalised people access to the internet, and introducing children to the joy of reading (because reading in school frankly is not much fun any more!).

glammanana Fri 07-Feb-14 09:15:51

Our local library is just a 5 min walk from my home and is a meeting place for all sorts of activities,from mums & tots reading time for 45mins three times a week to displaying all the local information anyone would need who where visiting the area,there is a free internet service for people on certain benifits so they can download jobs etc,and a computer class is held in the back of the library every morning depending on what level you are at.The top floor is used as the local voting station when there is an election and going up the very grand old stairs are framed pictures of the old ships and lifeboats which used to serve on The Mersey.

wisewoman Fri 07-Feb-14 10:04:52

I am very fortunate to have a large library in the big town near us and a small one in the next village in community school. The service is wonderful and though I have a kindle and do occasionally buy books I use the library a lot. I watch out for new books by my favourite authors and order them when they come out in hardback. It doesn't cost anything to order them and the small village librarian says they are delighted when people order books as it keeps their "stats up". I can also order books from the library onine and say which library I would like it to be delivered to. Hurrah for libraries. We must keep them.

janthea Fri 07-Feb-14 15:13:42

I can't remember the last time I was in our local library. I buy loads of books. They are stacked on the floor in the sitting room as I've run out of shelf space! I just been given a Kindle by my daughter and have started filling that up now!

D0LLIE Fri 07-Feb-14 15:26:02

Ive not been in my local library in years ...i used to buy books from charity shops but now i have a kindle i dont bother with books..

annodomini Fri 07-Feb-14 15:26:46

Our local library provides sets of books for our book group. It's indispensable. It's also very well used by all generations.

rockgran Fri 07-Feb-14 15:34:44

Our village library is the meeting place for our readers' group so I go at least once a month. Until recently it also had an after school club and I did a jewellery class for the children a couple of times a month. This has now been reduced to the school holidays (I do it for nothing). There are various groups who use it but it seems a losing battle as the hours and staff keep being trimmed. It is a modern(ish) building so no historic value there. I fear its days are numbered despite an enthusiastic staff. It has a good supply of computers for public use. There is a larger library in an older building in the next village which will probably be developed as a community meeting place but it isn't that easy to reach for older people.

Treebee Fri 07-Feb-14 16:28:14

I'm a librarian in a very busy city centre public library which offers many and varied services and events.
I and my colleagues are enthusiastic and welcoming and I love reading and hearing positive comments such as above.
With swingeing budget cuts our staffing has been reduced to a skeleton making life for us difficult and stressful. Sickness rates are rising. I'm pessimistic about the future of our public library services I'm afraid.

merlotgran Fri 07-Feb-14 20:19:42

After using our local library for many years I've gone back to supporting the mobile library because they need all the customers they can get. Sometimes there are only two of us at our stop which is in the centre of the village so I doubt they get many more on the outskirts.
Our house is full of books. Whenever I have a clear out and take some to the charity shop I end up replacing them.