I’ve been poorly for the past few days (pause for sympathy), which has given me far too much thinking time. So I’ve been reminiscing about the library of my childhood.
Libraries have been in the spotlight a lot recently, what with ever decreasing funding, automated systems replacing qualified Librarians and closure after closure. ‘They’ are saying that libraries are becoming outmoded and unnecessary. ‘They’ are never going to make it onto my Christmas list I tell you.
Anyway, the library of my childhood was Loughton Library in Trapps Hill, Loughton.
It was brilliant. We went every week to borrow books from the children’s library and as we got older, we were given a grown up’s card which meant that we could wander across the barrier to borrow books from the main library too. Me and my sister could spend hours in there, choosing books, flicking through magazines, picking out cassette tapes (we’re talking 1980’s just in case you were curious!).
It’s safe to say that I never hung out with the cool kids, but I didn’t care, I had plenty of nerdy friends (back before being a nerd was cool) and I had books.
So ha! This amazing place was my one of my favourite locations well into my late teens. By the time I’d finished revising for my A levels I was sick of the place, but those little revision booths played an integral part in my path to university.
And when I left Loughton Library behind me did I turn my back on libraries? Of course not, I just exchanged my ‘local’ to Roehampton, then to Canterbury Christ Church. As an adult one of the first things I did upon moving house was go into Clayhall Library to get a card. And again when we moved to Brentwood I just I had to check that it was transferable. Yes, it was!
Don’t underestimate the power of the library. They are havens of knowledge and imagination. Free books, highly trained knowledgable librarians (yes, they still exist), your local library is a treasure. If you haven’t visited in a while, why not add it to your ‘To do’ list?