‘Everyone is welcome, and there is something in them for absolutely everyone’ – Michelle’s story

I lived in libraries when I was younger. You could almost always find me in the school library after school had long since finished, or in the local library scouring the shelves for something that I hadn’t read or something that I wanted to read again. I cannot begin to describe how big of a part of my young life libraries were. Even now I visit libraries on a regular basis, and not just for books! It isn’t just the wonderful books that are hidden within the walls of every library that are under threat from their closures. It’s the additional services that they offer, too. Free Internet usage for anyone, reference libraries that are an invaluable source of knowledge for everyone from school children needing help in any subject or homework, right through to adults wanting to know more about the world and budding novelists needing information on times long dead and buried.

I cannot remember the name of every single book that I have read in my life. It is a list that is longer than almost anyone could remember, but I bet that if I could remember it, I could walk down to my local library, and they’d have it. Or if I wanted to know the history of the English Language and how it came to be what it was, all I could have to do is visit my local library. They have enough information within their walls to keep you busy for years. Sure, you can look it up on the internet, in between playing games and dealing with distractions. Or you can nip down to the library, grab a book, learn about what you need to know, and get not only accurate information, but without the distractions.

There are so many uses for libraries! A place to sit and read in peace a quiet. Somewhere to learn about the world around us. A wealth of new books and old favourites to take home and curl up with.

Libraries are not only an integral part of our society, but they are the only place in any community where you can find all ages, and all walks of life coming together to utilise their services. Everyone is welcome, and there is something in them for absolutely everyone. I doubt there is a single person alive that couldn’t walk into a library and find something that they like, even if it is their Internet services.

So how is it that, in times such as these, when literacy is such an important factor in our lives and dropping at an alarming rate, that the government can even consider closing such important institutes? Surely we need libraries now more than ever before? We need to be encouraging their use, not closing them down. We need to be looking at saving them, keeping them open for future and current generations to use, not feeding them to the dogs. Because if we let them close our libraries, then we will never get them back.

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