One Way to Stop a Library From Closing

Barbara Vey -- January 18th, 2011

Everyone knows what a library buff I am.  Ever since I was very young, going to the library was a special event.  While most of my friends loved shopping, I loved walking the aisles of mystery, fiction and romance.  I spent hours there and came home with my arms aching from the weight of all the books I checked out.  I always wanted to be a librarian when I grew up, but life had other plans.

So I was just tickled when I came across this story at the guardian.co.uk about a library that was scheduled to close.  Apparently, due to budget cuts, the Stony Stratford branch city council decided to take matters into their own hands before it was too late.

They instigated a Facebook campaign by urging all citizens to take advantage of the library’s policy of 15 books per person for a 1 week period.  After only a few days, nearly all of the library’s 16,000 books were checked out leaving the shelves bare.  What a sight that must have been.

One man was quoted as saying, “The library is the one place where you find five-year-olds and 90-year-olds together, and it’s where young people learn to be proper citizens.”  What a wonderful way of putting things into perspective.

What would you do to keep your library open?

Bottom Line: Without libraries what have we?  We have no past and no future.” ~ Ray Bradbury

29 thoughts on “One Way to Stop a Library From Closing

  1. Nancy Naigle

    I think we need to remind people that the library is a great resource.
    It seems to get forgotten in this day of speedy internet information. At least you won’t have to weed through all the wacko stuff to get to the right 4-1-1 in the library, and your librarian will help you.

    By the way — did you know that FEBRUARY is Library Lovers Month?

  2. Cathy Clamp

    Something that can really help libraries in small towns/cities is to gift them with a copy of Library Journal magazine for a year. Most can’t afford w/limited budgets and there are great things inside that can help save money, increase participation and give reviews of good books to buy. Many must share a copy over whole REGION (5-10 towns!) Small price to pay to help out. Also, for authors who judge book contests, do what I do and donate the books you receive to judge. Pull out autographed ones for drawings (where allowed) or giveaways to increase visitors. :)

  3. Katy

    I wanted to be a librarian too, Barbara. In fact, I started a graduate program…until the funds ran out. (They have a way of doing that) I don’t know what I would do without my local library. I am there at least twice a week, if not more. It goes beyond taking books out or research, although, with the lending library system, any book you can think of can be in your hands within a week. They’ve now started lending out ereaders to try. And they have ebooks to “borrow” as well. They have writers groups and kids’ groups galore. I teach a US History course to homeschoolers every week there, and they let me use the classroom for free. (so much better than my livingroom)

    So what would I do to save it? I would tell my town-councilman husband if he wants to be a happily married man he better make sure they get their funds. ;) jk…sort of. But I wouldn’t hesitate in speaking to the whole board on behalf of the library, and doing what I could to help and assist.

    I already take out my 15 books a week. ;)

  4. Stephanie

    I am also a long time library lover. Once I started paying property taxes I saw how much I am already paying for my library, and continue to use it as much as I can. The branch by me is always busy with families checking out movies, storytimes, and frequently books I am looking for have a hold list. I don’t mind this, because it means others in the community are using it.

  5. Jo Manning

    I posted this to my Facebook page! My day job for many years — while I wrote and tried to get published — was librarian. I was a reference librarian in corporate and academic libraries, a public school librarian, I taught library science, and did private research for clients. It is the best profession in the world! People have no idea how great it is. I am proud to say that I have talked several young — and old! — people into getting an information science degree :-) It’s not ever too late.

    Do you know the wonderful writer Connie Willis? Among her many brilliant novels is a short one titled Bellwether. In it, the scientist heroine regularly and methodically visits her local public library and takes out the books that don’t look as though they’ve been borrowed for quite a while, “saving” them from being discarded.

  6. Charlotte

    I too wanted to be a librarian, but no funds and my parents were poor. In those days there was not a lot of financial aid. I am now nearly 70 and still work at my job at a book store. Although we are allowed to check books out here, the penalties for forgetting to return are very stiff so I use my local library if I do not want to purchase the book. Also because I support libraries and do not wish to see any more library closures. I have wonderful memories from childhood of my mom taking me to the library and the libratian – Miss Linemann was her name – always was so nice and introduced me to so many wonderful books. Yes, those trips taught me good manners and courtesy. Libraries are very very lovable!

  7. Dianna Love

    I love the way they worked to save this library in the UK. I would have been lost as a child without the only place I could get my hands on a book and the one place I knew that held all the answers when I had to write papers for class. I don’t think people realize that libraries don’t just “exist” – they need our help. And we need them.

  8. Linda

    I work for one of the biggest bookstores in the country which has a very generous book borrowing policy(up to 20 at a time) and yet I still checked out 12 books from my local library branch yesterday. I am so thankful to have such a great library system in my city!

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