What a marvelous resource public libraries are, all those books that you can borrow for free! I've grown up with libraries as a big part of my life. My Mum is an avid reader, who goes through about 10 books a week so as long as I can remember Saturday mornings have involved trips round various libraries. Some of my regular readers may be surprised at this as one of the few areas which I have yet to write an opinion in is the book category (unless you count Delia Smith).
~~~ My Mum & The Library ~~~
I think that dear old Mum would be lost without the library, it would cost her a fortune to buy all the books she reads. During the week she regularly visits two or three libraries, which although all in the same borough offer a different selection of books and differing levels of quality (that’s her excuse for visiting so many). She holds three library tickets, hers, my fathers and mine although I no longer live with her and she probably ought to tell them Dad is deceased. These three tickets are usually filled to capacity with books on loan. In her lunch breaks my Mum is regularly to be found browsing the new books in WH Smiths armed with a notebook for jotting down the details. She then fills out a reserve card and takes it in to the library on her next visit. One complaint she does have though is that one library in her area charges 5p more than all the others for reservations. They are always phoning her up to say they have a book in for her and she dashes down there to pick up her books before they closed. Funny how they always phone the day before they are closed for the day. When I was a kid my Mum also used to borrow paintings from the library but they no longer offer this service.
~~~ Good Readers Club ~~~
I have memories of being in the Good Readers Club when I was a child. I would borrow books with the GRC mark on them and when I took them back the librarian would take me into the back and ask me questions on the book. You were rewarded with stars on a little card and each month there were a list of the top ten kids in the Good Readers Club. As I spent so much time visiting libraries with Mum my name was rarely off the list. This was a great idea which certainly encouraged you to think about the books you read. I think that helped to make reading such a big part of my life. I notice that locally there is currently a "reading carnival" for children
~~~ My Local Library ~~~
I'm very fortunate as we have a brand new library quite near to my home. It's only been open a couple of months and is very state of the art with a handy touch screen system for looking up books in the catalogue. Also the other benefit of this new library is that a lot of the books are brand new. There is also an excellent car park with lovely wide spaces which I'm sure are a bonus to those with children. I visit this library a couple of times a week to change my books. Living in Basildon my library is part of the Essex Library service so I can take out up to thirteen items at a time.