With the storms of NSW here and winter still to arrive, I was wondering what many parents do to entertain their young ones. I recently read a blog by a new mum, about how she found it difficult getting out with a new baby. How by looking online, for a free or cheap event that would allow her to take her baby, she discovered the story time for Mums and Bubs at her local library. She discovered a safe, welcoming and enjoyable place for her and baby to meet and socialise with others. I reminisced about my times as a new mum taking my children to storytime and how excited they were. How special the librarians made them feel with their bits of craft. How I was able to make new friends, mums, with similar aged children, who also loved reading. How my children would choose the special book we would read each night for a week. I am sure they felt empowered and was I believe, the beginning of them realising the consequences of their choices, in a great and positive way. This was a special time and now a lovely memory for my children.
When I was a child, I would have to walk past the library everyday to and from school. Every afternoon, I would browse the shelves, eager to be a young adult so I could borrow the “grown-up” books. I was an early reader and due to many reasons books were my best escape from reality. My mum who lived on a diet of books and boiled lollies, whilst reading, being a shift worker and unable to access the library during its opening hours, would have me at times return her novels and collect another stack of novels. Authors such as, Georgette Heyer and Daphne du Maurier, the ones I still remember were her favourites or so I thought. This allowed me to visit the adult shelves and borrow on my mum’s card…. Shhhh don’t tell anyone!
I would dream about borrowing and reading from the A’s to the Z’s of the fiction shelves in order. When I finally was able to borrow adult novels on my own card, and attempt to realise this dream, I found that many were not to my liking. I found that I was reading novels that did not interest me (I had and still have, to a certain extent, a thing about finishing even the worst book and not quitting half way) so I never accomplished my goal. I also realised very quickly how impossible that task would be.
Today, with the Internet, online access to e-books, audio books, e-newspapers and e-magazines enable many to access items without entering the physical library. The physical library still has a place for many wanting to meet, discuss, create or just sit quietly with a book. Libraries can offer children a magical place where anything is possible they just need to want to know about one thing and begin to question.
I have recently visited and critically reviewed, many public libraries in NSW, for my own personal understanding of what is wanted and needed by the community and how the library achieves this. One of these libraries is the Goulburn Public Library which to me is trying to connect with its community by using social media, namely Facebook. The Goulburn Library is attempting to involve and communicate with the community. It seems to be growing its online presence by focusing on mums with young children, who are also possibly one of the main users of Facebook. Another high user of Facebook, teenagers, may need assistance in their homework, and so the library offers their community a free online tutor. The library is being renovated and they post updates on the progress which is a great way to keep up to date with any new initiatives or programs they may offer.
Do you visit your local library? Are you a member of your local public library?
When was the last time you visited either in real life or online?
Are you aware of its services it provides?
Do you make the most of what your library offers you?
Check out the events that they hold. Maybe you or your loved ones can not only gain knowledge but also make new friends or acquaintances. Lego club is one of the latest things many of the local libraries offer, so even if your young one does not like reading (blasphemy!) they may enjoy the creativity one can experience in a library.
If you have not been to a library for sometime, I challenge you to visit your nearest one. Borrow a book, CD or DVD. SIgn into their e-reader catalogue where you can access items online and not have to venture out in the inclement weather or when life is to busy to physically browse during the library’s opening hours.
Also, I would love to know why, you have not joined your local library? Is there a reason? I am curious.
On a final note here is Arthur Library card song to inspire and maybe motivate you to visit your public library.