Tuesday, 23 June 2009
It's perhaps a bit of an embarrassing statement for a writer but the truth is, I haven't been in a public library in over 10 years. I think my last visit would've been with my youngest two (twins) to borrow a book for a school project. I was always in and out the revolving doors when the kids were at school, by the way.
Other than that I've not felt the need to get in the car, drive the 2 miles only to find they haven't got the info I need. I say 'info' referring to research for work in progress. Why? Because it's much easier for me to go on-line.
Okay, I know some of you will say that not everyone has access to the Internet or the luxury of Broadband. Not everyone can afford to buy paperbacks - though with such heavily discounted prices in the supermarkets I doubt the validity of that argument! And, yes, I know that libraries have come on a lot since my last visit. And yes, I know libraries do not only serve as storehouses for hundreds of books, they also contribute to the community.
I've checked...my local library offers computer classes with free Internet access and hosts weekly book-club meetings, they have a monthly Weight Watcher's group and after-school programmes and much more. As I write this, a new library and community centre is being built on land beside the old building in Worksop, where I live. And, oh, my days, I just read this:
The existing library was built in the late 1930s and the accommodation it provides does not allow for the delivery of a modern library service.
At present there are 211,000 books issued each year and this is predicted to rise to over 265,000. Similarly the number of visitors at present is 143,000 a year and this is predicted to rise by a maximum of 30 percent to over 186,000.
The new library needs to be nearly twice the existing floor area to accommodate the projected increase.
Hmm...maybe it's time I re-joined. I might be missing out!