Welcome to day 4 of 100 words on Libraries, our special week long feature in advance of National Libraries Day on Saturday 4th February. It’s been really interesting reading what each of our writers has to say about libraries and it’s been heartening to read the love for libraries that our contributors have. This is echoed today with pieces from Lari Don, Gillian Phillip and Jeff Marsh. Lari and Gillian are both children’s authors whilst Jeff is deputy Head of S6 at Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh.
As a children’s writer, I often visit libraries, to read books about bottoms to wee ones on their mums’ laps, or to talk about adventure books with after-school book groups. The highlight of these visits is seeing so many children happy, comfy and confident in their own libraries. I once watched an 8 year old girl, who’d got her library card through school, show her mum how to borrow a book. Lots of kids don’t have many books at home, but if they feel at home in their local library, they can borrow and love any book in the world.
When I was seven, my local library burned down; from my parents’ window I watched the flames, stunned. Next day I couldn’t believe it wasn’t national headline news (its spot went to something trivial – Watergate, I think). Most tragic was my knowledge that JB Priestley’s SNOGGLE was in there – the rain-damaged copy I’d lost in the garden and had only just returned. (I’d quiveredwith terror, but the kind librarian didn’t have me jailed.) The Snoggle trauma endured till I found a used copy on Amazon three years ago. But I’m not sure I ever got over the library…
The 7 ages of Libraries : which stage are you?
Infant : Comfy chairs, reading with Mum …all those books!
Schoolboy : Something to read of my own choice … all those books!
Student : Personal research, all the answers I need … all those books!
Young man : I couldn’t afford to read otherwise ….all those books!
Career man : Escape from it all in a “good read” … all those books!
Married man : “Dad” time with the kids … all those books!
Old man : Time to read at last – thank goodness for the large print … all those books!
For more information and to find out what is happening in your area for National Libraries day visit the National Libraries Day Website
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