I love libraries. I love their shelves of books and their quiet, calm atmosphere. For me, there is magic in handing over a library card in exchange for a book, music CD or DVD. It costs nothing and yet opens doors into worlds, real and fantasy, expanding my mind and nurturing my imagination.
My idea of heaven
My love affair began when I first joined a library in London in the 1970s. I was about 6 when my mum took me and my siblings to get our membership cards. I can clearly remember the circulation desk with its rows of wooden boxes, which held the borrowing records. Going through the doors into the children’s section, I was amazed to find a room full of books, any of which I could take home. That day, I was given a handful of cards and left with an armful of books. From then on, my library membership became a passport into the world of reading. I went regularly to the library, initially with my mum and then, when I was old enough, by myself. Over the years, I made new friends and encountered old ones, all in the pages of the books I borrowed and read.
There’s magic in books…and adventure and knowledge and…
My love of libraries has continued since then. Whenever I moved, one of the first things I did was to join the local library. In the years that followed my first encounter, I chose teaching as a profession and worked in the early childhood sector. However, I grew disillusioned with the education system and decided to return to university to become….a librarian! And now that I have qualified, I feel as though I have come home at last.