In Lincolnshire in 2015 the local council decided to close down many of the smaller local libraries in the county, which has now meant that many people living in rural locations no longer have access to a library.
I haven’t lived in Lincolnshire for a few years now, but I have watched as this case has gone to court twice in an attempt by a group of gallant supporters to save the libraries. Ultimately the local government won and now it is the communities who are suffering.
I now live in Cornwall, and here we are facing the very same issues. So one of the first things I did when we moved here was to join the library, and I get my regular reading books from them.
What I had forgotten about was the vast array of community things that the library undertakes. Not only do I need to go to them for my recycling bins, but I can talk to them about a variety of local council issues, bus passes, council tax payments, information about the local area, these employees are a wealth of local and county wide knowledge and the best bit is that if they don’t know they find out for you.
But one thing I had completely forgotten about, until last Friday, was the huge range of non fiction books that are available from your local library. In our small library in Redruth we have sections on all manner of non fiction topics, but there are no less than five shelves of craft books, from drawing to home interiors and two more just for dress making and sewing.
So last Friday I went and picked up seven books that looked fascinating, ranging from different crochet stitches for my current crochet project to a brilliant book about what to do with things that you might have thought of as junk. And if like me you love browsing through craft magazines and reading about new ways of doing things, and coming up with inspired ideas for your next craft project, having seven craft books to read through was the nicest afternoon, for me.
Your local library will also enable you to request books that are in other branches. All you need to do is hop online and search for a topic, book title or an author and that brings up a list for you to work from. You then select to request the book and once its arrived in your local branch you get an email to tell you.
Remember if in doubt ask the employees in the library for assistance and they will be more than happy to help.
The figures that were reported in one of the reasons for closing down the local libraries in Lincolnshire was based on the number of actual books that are borrowed from the libraries. Which is low, of course it is, with the invention of the internet you can get all you need there, and their is a decline in people reading for pleasure as our lives get busier and busier.
But how much did you spend on the last book or magazine you bought? For me I spent at least £4.99 on a magazine each month, and before I moved I would buy kindle books for about £2 or £3 a time, and I would hardly think anything of it. At the library, the books are free!! You might have to pay a small fee for reserving a book or if you don’t return your books on time, but its free to borrow books.
So if you have a library local to you, try it out, see what they have. The books might be old fashioned, but they will still have an amazing wealth of ideas inside them. If we support our libraries then maybe we can preserve them for others.