From library users

Thanks to the libraries and library users who’ve shared their comments and feedback about their library’s services, events and staff.

Have some comments you’d like to share? Get in touch!

Kathryn sent us some of the comments from the evaluation questionnaires her library sends out as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. They show how strongly families in  the community regard the library and the services it provides.

“Really pleased with the improvement in my children’s reading”

“She has…become more interested in books”

“I think it is a wonderful way to get children interested in reading”

“It is really fun and good reading!” (child)

“Children loved the Reading Club and it kept them enthusiastic about reading over the holds”

“Jakob really enjoyed the Reading Club, he loved making things and had lots of fun”

“Diane was lovely, friendly and made going more fun”

“Really excellent. Lots of great help”

“I look forward to the summer reading club every year as all my family have taken part in it”

“Excellent opportunity to improve reading”

“Great for the children’s imagination”

“Has sustained his level of reading when not at school”

“I really enjoy reading because it is exiting [sic]” (child)

“I really enjoyed it because you learn more things” (child)

“Very calm and supportive atmosphere”

“The activities have been very good. My son loves the library and the staff make it a great place to visit”

“Another excellent Summer Scheme…Is there anything you can do to encourage her to tidy her room as well as read?!!!!!”

“Both boys enjoy the library (only Dad not a member) but the reading club activities have prompted more frequent visits”

“Harry has enjoyed visiting the library more often during the summer and likes the activities as well as chatting with the staff”

“This is a great incentive scheme to keep children coming to the library and reading in the school holiday. The staff at [the] Library are great with the children. Thank you”

Observation Log Comments

Said to a member of staff at a drop-in art session:

“We love coming to the library and it has developed my daughters’ confidence in reading. These  drop-in workshops are a great idea for developing their social skills and keeping them entertained”

Said to a member of staff at the new library at ****:

“[The reading scheme] has kept my 9 year old reading a variety of exciting books..However, the best thing for me is to see how keen my 6 year old has been to progress with the scheme which means that he has been reading lots every day at a crucial time for his reading development. I think that he’ll have made real breakthrough in his reading by the end of the summer rather than ‘coasting’ when not at school”

Said to a member of **** staff by a child:
“I love reading, that’s why I come here every day”

A written note at ****:

My daughter Emily aged 11 loves coming to space hop its a shame its the last week. Its kept all her friends and her entertained during the holidays. Its good to no[sic] she can come somewhere safe and learn at the same time. Her favourite activitie [sic] is the computer. She enjoyed the animal antics and she was so pleased when she got a medal
for reading books.

A note from a parent at ****:

Nowhere else in **** has provided these kinds of activities during the holidays & I think it is a good way to both encourage reading & keep library part of local community

Two parents at ****  Community Project Club came up to me at the last session to say how important the club had been to them.  The mother of a boy said that it was very difficult to get him to pick up a book, but he had been doing just that for 6 weeks – and loved it! A recently unemployed Dad said that he had had to take his 3 year old daughter out of day care nursery as the family could no longer afford the fees and he had watched her becoming more and more withdrawn, so the free reading
challenge had been a life-line for him, and to see his daughter coming out of herself once more was great.

Perhaps the last word on how important the Reading Challenge is should go to this grandmother from ****:

“A little note on **** Library –

I have been attending the library all my life and I am now 46 years old. I have always felt welcome and enjoyed reading lots of books… a mom of six I have joined all my children, borrowed lovely books to read with them. Now, I’m on to the granddaughter. I was delighted to introduce **** Library and books to her.  The summer reading club is so special and beneficial to all ages. Its free, it’s local, keeps children occupied. They have loved everything about it from the welcome as they enter the door to completing reading their books and guessing on the map.  I have been doing the scheme with seven children now. It’s part of our life, our 6 weeks holidays. Long may it continue!  With many thanks.”

These powerful comments and stories demonstrate just how valuable libraries are to children and young people in a way that cannot be easily measured in numbers or outputs.

The following comments were provided by users of Weoley Castle Library in Birmingham

I am very grateful to have Weoley Castle Library in my community.  I have been able to access books, CDs, internet, printing for personal and academic reasons.  Without the library resources, I would have had difficulty in managing my affairs.  It is, therefore, possible to state that the library has been a helpful resource; the best aspect of which is undoubtedly the professional and friendly service provided by staff.  Those people have created a comfortable environment which also attracts people to the library.

Ms Marjorie Evershem

Weoley Castle Library is brilliant. The staff are wonderful and there is a good selection of books. This is more than a library, it is a social service. It helps to maintain contact with the wider world and broaden the outlook of so many people, particularly the elderly. Keeping the brain active is so important for retired people. This library serves a large population. It is well placed in the centre of a shopping area which serves many houses. We do not want to lose it.

PS This library is well served by a frequent bus service, and there is good car parking nearby.

Mrs S.M. Lomas (24/09/2010)

I am a regular user of Weoley Castle Library and would sadly see any changes made here. I hope it will continue to give the wonderful service I have enjoyed in the past. Thank you.

D. Dobinson (27/09/2010)

4 thoughts on “From library users

  1. Pingback: Comments from Weoley Castle | Voices for the Library

  2. Jenny

    A few years ago I used to work in a small public library branch on the edge of a very deprived estate in Bristol. We provided basic IT training for free, introductory literacy and numeracy classes for adults that led into courses run at a local college and had a thriving programme of activities for children in an area where there was little for them to do and a lot of ways for them to get into trouble. We had two families that I remember in particular where the parents were unable to read so they would bring their children into the library every evening after school so that we could help them find the books or resources they needed for their homework. We encouraged these parents onto literacy and IT schemes themselves after a while. I was frequently asked to help people with job applications, filling in forms, reading letters that they’d been sent but couldn’t read and just generally helping them find out infomation that they needed for everyday life. We were the only friendly agency or warm, free safe place for a fair distance- expecially if you had no money for bus tickets or had mobility issues. It could often get scary in the library, I think that often anger for the Council was directed at its only agency near the estate and we weren’t in any way likely to come back at them. Most of this anger came from the kids, especially the ones who would roam around in gangs during the day and whose grandparents would come looking for them sometimes because their parents were out of the picture. We managed this anger though and when we got the new computers it was these kids who I think benefitted the most out of their arrival as we made sure we showed them some good sites to visit and once used to being in the library without throwing books they started to join in with the story events that we aimed at their age group (ghost stories at Halloween, space stories to fit in with a Summer reading scheme).
    We were also used by the homeless, the addicted and the mentally ill as a safe place to come and sit. This sometimes brought its own difficulties but generally I feel that it’s important to provide places where anyone can be safe and warm and can be treated like everyone else and our other readers were sensitive about this and never complained to my knowledge or asked us to ask anyone to move on.
    Libraries are human places, places where you can get access to ways of getting yourself out of the situation that you’re in if you want to. It’s not just about books and ryhyme times and DVD libaries (although these are great!), it’s about social mobility, getting your children out of the situation you find yourself in, about finding someone to help you read something, about a friendly face pointing you in the right direction, about people who will listen to you and help you to the infomation or services you need. I remember teaching a 90 year old to join Hotmail and read emails from her great grandchildren in Australia, we provided talking books for the blind and partially sighted (with a list that told us their interests so that we could borrow in things that they might like), we had local history evenings, we often would get a box of books in at the beginning of the week and would be able to alert frequent readers that there was something new that they’d like in. I was very humbled by my year in a public library as it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. I work in another library sector now but I miss the raw dynamism of the small public branch library and the feeling that you’re providing a service that is badly needed and very much appreciated. Anyone who doubts this should try working in such a library for a day and see what its really like.

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