There has been lots of excitement among English book lovers this week as our lockdown has eased enough to allow non essential retail to re-open, meaning of course that lots of us can pay a long overdue visit to our beloved bookstores (I haven’t yet but certainly will soon). I’ve seen so much love for bookstores on social media and its been wonderful.
Among all the justly deserved love for our bookstores though I have seen very little directed at our equally super public libraries. Don’t forget that our libraries are open again too. Those wonderful Aladdin’s Caves of books that you can borrow for free. Places where you can take a chance on that book that you aren’t sure about but might turn out to be your next favourite. Places where children can meet so many wonderful book characters and learn to love books.
Library staff are equally as knowledgeable about books as bookstore staff and will happily recommend books for you if you want them too or talk about books with you.
But libraries are also about so much more than just the books they house. They are places of safety, places where anyone from any background is welcome. Places to learn new skills and meet new friends. Libraries aren’t stern, cold places where you have to be silent anymore. They are bright, vibrant places that deserve to be loved by their communities.
So please, keep supporting our bookstores but don’t forget about our Libraries. We have to use them or they will be lost.