Last year, nearly 130 libraries closed their doors for the last time. The beating heart ripped out of many communities, often in the poorest regions. Libraries are places of exploration and imagination, they hold the keys to other dimensions. The books that preside within the buildings are not the only source of knowledge. However, many libraries offer free courses to aid those most in need, such as CV writing classes, technology help for the elderly, they are beacons that shine and offer a warm, safe space for many vulnerable and lonely people. We cannot let them close.
I worked as an assistant librarian for 2 and a half years before university, the interactions with people who come in showed me why libraries are necessary. Often, small children would come in, their mum holding bags full to the brim with books, the children would run ahead to the kids’ section while their mother checked the books back in, only for 10 minutes later the children to come racing out with another busload. It goes without saying that closing libraries will not affect all of us, but it would be an attack on the poorest of society. We may be okay to see them close. It might be, for some of you, an effective cost-cutting technique. But for those most vulnerable people, it’s cutting off a life supply, so many opportunities. It’s forcing the elderly to stay at home alone, the children to not read, the adults to miss out on that great new book that so many other parents are talking about in the playground after school. Books are expensive, taking away such an effective lending system would be devastating for many working-class families that cannot afford to buy books on a regular basis.
What can be done? Use your local libraries, instead of buying that book you fancy, go and get it from the library. Need to write an essay? Go and do it at the library, trust me, you’ll get so much more done. Be apart of the community that exists in libraries, because they are worth keeping.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss