I'm on the coach to Bristol as I write this, so please excuse any bad formatting and lack of links - I'm using my phone! It's National Libraries Day today though, so I've been reading, and I couldn't resist!
I used to go to my grandparents' house every half term as a child. Those memories include Baffins Pond, where we'd always go, trips in the local area (the historical ones were my favourite), going to see Poppa when he was a tour guide at Forts Purbrook & Widley, and many others. A fond memory is being taken to the library when they were holding children's reading sessions; they'd have dress up days and get everyone involved. I remember a time when I dressed up as a pirate and told everyone my name was Jane. I was an odd child!
Maybe it's because I don't have any children of my own, but I never hear about events like that any more. Small libraries have limited opening hours, and just in general they appear to be fading out of social consciousness, which is a real shame.
I recently enquired to the library in Coulsdon about starting up, or helping with, a Chatterbooks group. The librarian told me that there hadn't been much interest when they'd started one before, so it was probably better to contact a library like Purley. I'm not blaming anyone in mentioning this; I just thought it sad that, in an area where there was numerous primary schools nearby, no children were attending.
This is such a shame. Part of what I love about children's books is doing all the silly voices and seeing the kids engage. I remember loving being read to, and also loved talking about books. That won't have gone away.
Does your local library still do events like that? In this time of e-books and technology, what can be done to revive the library?