Helen’s story

I have a job which can be pretty stressful at times. Lots of enquiries,
requests, emails, telephone calls and always a million things to do and sort
out and arrange, plenty of rushing about and jumping around. (Guess what,
I’m a librarian). By lunchtime, I’m exhausted and ready for a break. But I
find it difficult to get away from work if I stay at work–does that make
sense? I don’t seem to be able to switch off while I’m in the building,
mainly because I have to be so switched on all the time. But I find that
unless I get a proper break, by 3pm I’m flagging. Simple tasks seem more
complicated. It’s not a blood sugar thing, or anything like that, it’s just
that my mind needs a quick rest.

So I started to go to the public library in town. Fortunately, it’s less
than a five minute walk. I nip out at the start of my lunch break, and spend
half an hour sitting in the warm, comfy, bustling library. I read a book,
or a newspaper, or just indulge in a bit of people-watching. And after half
an hour, I go back to work, refreshed and ready for the afternoon.

When I’m in the public library, there are children running about with books
and DVDs, people checking books out and in, asking questions, tapping away
on the computers, having soft conversations–and sometimes loud
conversations, learning, reading, experiencing and interacting. There’s
even other people like me, just having a quick break with a good book. It’s
a space like no other, and I value it highly.

I guess I could go into a coffee shop, or go to a park, and sometimes I do.
But the former costs money, and as I live in England it’s usually raining,
so that excludes the latter. The public library is always there, it’s
always warm, there’s always a comfy seat available and it’s free. There’s
no pressure at all. You don’t have to spend anything, and you don’t have to
sit on the floor. (Possibly not the best marketing strategy for libraries
there).

I’ve read lots of the stories on the blog. Some of them are really
uplifting. I know that mine isn’t. But it’s not important. Without my
public library, I’d be tired and stressed every day. It genuinely makes me
better at my job. And that’s why I’m grateful for my public library.

Voices for the library=absolutely brilliant idea. Lots of good luck to you
all.

Helen

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