Hi friends! I hope you’re having a fab week. I hope you’re reading a good book, or excited about a movie or listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for the a-thousandth time (because it really is that good).
It’s evening where I am, the sky outside is dark and when I step outside later my breath is going to billow like smoke. In a few hours, I will head out to my writers group, where I will laugh and discuss and drink tea and be thoroughly INSPIRED by my fabulous writer friends. Tomorrow I will crack open my laptop screen with caffeine a-plenty and hope for the words I’m about to write.
But today I want to talk about libraries.
FUN FACT: Libraries have always been my safe space. I thrive off that old book smell, of the search for the correct dewey decimal number, off the feeling I get when I crack open a dusty cover to delve into the story within.
My mum took me to our local town library regularly when I was a kid. In middle school I spent most lunches crunched over a table, book in hand. When I was a bit older, I revised for exams in a library, looking longingly at the books I wished I could read. And now, as a uni student, I’ve just reached my book borrowing limit. It’s safe to say I love libraries.
Because, for me, libraries aren’t just a quiet room filled to the brim with books. They’re a refuge, a safe space. When I was bullied as a kid, I went to the library, read a page or two of a book, and it didn’t feel so bad. When I wanted information I couldn’t get (PRE-GOOGLE!) the library had the answers. And I can definitely say that librarians are pretty much the best people ever.
So that’s why I’m so so SO sad at the closing of so many libraries in the UK. Libraries are valuable, and they are especially valuable to people who are vulnerable. Families who are struggling with poverty, disability, immigration, PoC, mental illness–those are the people who these closures are going to effect. Kids who crave stories and who aren’t going to find them anywhere else, need libraries.
Libraries = hope.
So if you, like me, love libraries, here’s a handy guide from the wonderful folks at Voices for the Library detailing what you can do.