What does your library mean to you?

Our libraries are under threat. Government cuts over the last few years have forced many Councils across the country to reduce the library service, with many libraries and library vans falling casualty. I love libraries, and I’m incredibly lucky that my office is only a few minutes walk from a wonderful city library. I wrote this piece in September 2015 for a writing competition – the first that I ever entered! The topic was ‘What does your library mean to you?’ and the word limit was only 200 words. This piece was picked as the competition winner; I was absolutely thrilled!

I remember getting my first library card. I was three years old and couldn’t see over the top of the desk. My love of books grew faster than I did and I became an avid reader who looked forward to the weekly library visit with my mother. Twenty years later, and my love of books, and libraries in particular, has not declined. Libraries are a sanctuary for me – a little, quiet space to draw breath, seek new knowledge and take time out for oneself. I adore the infinity of libraries: you will never have read all the books they contain so there are always new avenues to explore.

When I walk into a library it feels like a homecoming. I seek out my favourite seat and a well-thumbed tome from the shelf and suddenly I have entered a timeless limbo: I can think back to the child I was when I sat here before, or cast my mind forward- will this chair still be in this corner when I have children of my own? Or when I am an old lady? Wherever I am and whatever I do in life, libraries will always be a homing point for me.

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