I had meant to write this post last Friday, 27th January, but in fact I was too busy in our school library! I was busy because I was helping our students with their queries about using the computers effectively, searches for journal articles, book requests and ideas for a book to take home that evening. In short, proving that we need libraries!
On Saturday 4th February 2012 we will be celebrating the first ever National Libraries Day here in the UK. The day was established after we had seen the closure of so many public libraries over the past year, and a handful of those due for closure being handed over to be run by the communities fortunate enough to be able to support them through the goodness of volunteers willing to run them and raise extra funds to keep them going. The purpose of National Libraries Day is to celebrate libraries and all that they represent and do for us as readers.
We all believe we know what libraries do but are you aware that not only do they do the things that one would expect, but also many library authorities offer housebound residents the chance to borrow books in a range of formats and films on dvd and music on cd as well. They offer many free courses connected with computer literacy, career choices and cv workshops, provide a wealth of extra information about their locality (both for tourists and residents alike). They host many clubs across the age groups for readers in connection with The Reading Agency: starting with involvement in Bookstart for Babies, continuing with Chatterbooks for primary school children and onto reading groups and the exciting Groupthing and Headspace projects for older children and My Voice for older people. Many library services provide reading group collections with books available to privately run reading groups as well as hosting their own.
Library services are supported by so many authors who not only use their local libraries but also do readings, booksignings and talks. Some library services have also provided bibliotherapy groups for their readers based on the model ‘Get into Reading’, established by The Reader Organisation, who have categorical evidence suggesting that involvement in one of their groups has improved adult literacy for members of the community from differing social backgrounds as well as offered support for those who are lonely, elderly and sick. Bibliotherapy has also been shown to assist school age children in these areas where other methods of support haven’t helped them, the library service takes this opportunity into the community in schools and community centres.
To find out more, please click here for redirection to the National Libraries Day website, and I hope that you become involved and enjoy the day!
- National Library Day marks a year of protests against library closures (guardian.co.uk)
- Bovvered? National Libraries Day, but not in Croydon (insidecroydon.com)
- Friern Barnet library march, Saturday 4 February (National Libraries Day) (barnetalliance.org)
- As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat (leftfootforward.org)