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National Libraries Day

So once again my calendar has failed me, I woke up to Twitter reminding me that today was an appreciation day for public libraries! Something I feel fondly about!

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Now, as a lover of books I would love to own my own library to browse and read at my leisure; however I am also a student who currently doesn’t work (although I am looking!) so money is tight. But thanks to public libraries I can still gorge myself on the written world and escape wherever I want!

Time for a little confession!

For five years I avoided my local library, not by choice of course!

You see an 11 year version of me borrowed a book and thought it was a wonderful idea to take this book with me to France- where I lost it! 😮 I know the horror!

So instead of going and explaining that I had lost the book on holiday I avoided the place, and soon I was receiving letters (which at the ages of 11-16 was a huge deal!) saying that I had a fine, and with each letter the fine grew and grew and grew! My parents wondered why I was receiving letters from the library- I lied, from embarrassment and from not wanting them to go and pay for me- I told them that they were writing to tell me the upcoming releases! (Something I wish they would do- honestly 🙂 hint hint)

For years I avoided the place, until a few years ago I was cleaning out a box that was in the attic, a box that was labelled from just before the holiday- yes you guessed it- the book was neatly tucked away inside the box!

I. Did. Not. Put. It. There!

My sister did. You see she does not appreciate books the way that I do, and she thought it was just another book and shoved it in the box! I was furious! By now I had a £100+ fine and I had the book in my hand.

Thinking back I should have just gone straight to the library and explained what happened, but my anxiety took over and soon I was getting ill at the thought of even moving the book. I had even considered just throwing the book out- admittedly a stupid thought! The turmoil of the anxiety lasted just over two months, that was until a letter from the library came for me.

Initially I thought that it was another fine reminder, but it wasn’t! It was a flyer for the amnesty day coming up that weekend- that’s when the light came on! That weekend I crept into the library, utterly petrified that they would say something about the time or the fine- or even an ‘about time’ comment! But nothing!

The librarian sat behind the desk and smiled, thanked me for the book and gave me a new card! I walked out with another 10 books (that I returned on time!).

Recent library closures worry me!

So I have lived at my address for my entire life and at one point we had 6 libraries within a walking distance (well an 11 year old can walk for quite a while when they put their mind to it!). But over the recent years they dwindled in numbers.

My favourite library (from the confession above) has recently moved into the local secondary school, so if you want to get to the library you first need to sign in at the school reception and be escorted to the library- a joke if you ask me! So now I have to go into the city centre to get to a library that has more computers than books!

So there is a lesson to be learnt here- use them or loose them folks!

Helen x

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