Today is National Libraries Day. It was suggested we write our love letters to libraries, and here is mine.
Dear darling library,
Most of my childhood memories are about books. I have a massive collection of second hand books, but like an addict, I could never get my hands on enough of them. This, dear library, is where you stepped in. I visited my library every Saturday, and took out the maximum books allowed - six for the next six days till my next visit.
Books gave me so much more than I can put into words, but even just owning them makes me feel safer. Walking into the library, never knowing exactly what I would find, but knowing that I had could have any of them. We didn't have much money, but in the library you were equal to the richest person in the world. Anything was yours to take.
I used to make little cards to make my book collection into my very own library, lending them out to teddy bears and dolls. Keeping records and writing their names onto the paper stubs.
Books allow you to be anywhere, with anyone. It may be a cliche, but you are never alone with a good book.
As an adult, I was at one stage an actual real-life librarian. I created a library space and attempted to show other young people the power and beauty of libraries.
This before/after wasn't staged or posed. Give young people a library that they feel part of, and the books magically find their way into their hands ;-)
Libraries say so much, they represent a belief that education and information should be free and open to all. They tell us that we value books and reading, and that they shouldn't be just for those who can afford the luxury of new books. They stand for a belief that culture matters, and that we don't mind contributing towards an upkeep for that belief.
My darling libraries.....I love you.