The following post was contributed by Bradley Corrigan-Toole. Bradley is currently completing a Duke of Edingburgh award at bronze level and volunteers at Batley Library and Information Centre.
Libraries are an extremely important part of daily life for thousands of people. They rely on us for many reasons. Not only do we provide books: we also provide IT and IT training facilities, audio books, CDs & DVDs, readers’ groups, writers’ groups and children’s activities, large print books and genre specific books. We have sections that are designated solely to teen & children’s books.
Most libraries have an extensive reference section. For example, at Batley library, we have a reference section which includes the complete works of local born scientist Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen. We have approximately twenty local history boxes, each covering a different topic. We also have old maps of the area, family history records and much, much more. Some libraries have an art gallery too. We do. Our current exhibition shows artwork from children ranging from primary school age to degree from the last 100 years.
Some LIC’s (Library & Information Centres) offer bill paying methods which makes it extremely convenient for customers to pay their bills whilst going to get books. There are many people that rely on the library just to survive. For example, there is a 90 year old woman that comes into the library every Saturday without fail to get some books. She’s told us that because she’s so old that she can’t do anything else and that she reads all day. That is one example of where a library is someone’s lifeline.
But we don’t have to be someone’s lifeline to prove our worth: many able bodied, younger people use the library, just to use our extensive services.
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