On the Importance of Libraries
I started teaching this week and the importance of libraries for those of us who live in quite rural settings was really brought home to me.
My local library is awesome and has been a real lifesaver for me while I’ve been studying. They have a fantastic ILL system that includes both books from the other libraries in the state* and universities around the country. This means that I can sit at home and realise that I need a book for my course, look it up in their catalogue and if it isn’t there, look it up at LIBRIS, and if it isn’t in my university library**, send off an e-mail to the local library who order it for me. I get it in a week or two depending on the day of the week I order it, usually it is less than a week.
My library is part of the state wide library system which meant that on Monday I could walk into the library in the town I work in (conveniently located in the same building I teach ) and have them add their library to my current card. It means I can now borrow any books I need there, which will make it so much easier for me since my local library isn’t open when I need it to be.
On Tuesday, when I met my students for the first time, two of them sang the library’s praise (warmed my little bibliophile heart it did) without any prompting from me. One of them commented on how good her local library was as a place for her to go and study because if she was at home she just did other stuff. The library allowed her to focus on her studies and she felt it had really made a difference in her learning.
Another student, who is a refugee and is still learning Swedish (as well as the English I am endeavouring to teach her…my students blow my mind), spent her break in the library borrowing books for herself and her children. She got a hardcopy and an audio book of the same book so that she could listen and follow along in the text at the same time. I just wanted to hug her.
So here we have three different women, with three different backgrounds (my two students and I) and for all of us the small, local libraries around here provide an invaluable service. Services that we would find difficult or impossible to get elsewhere.
*I use state for ease of understanding, the Swedish word is län and it is slightly different from states.
**My university has a fantastic system for us distance students where they will send us books through the mail when we request them. I can have any book from their catalogue in my mailbox within a day or two of ordering it, all I have to pay is return postage.
Next weekend is Bloggiesta Weekend, YAY!!! My poor blog has suffered in the last few months when I have been very busy and I am hoping to get some much needed maintenance work done. I am also hoping to get some “rainy day” posts written as well as some of my more regular features so that I don’t have to leave the blog quite should things get busy again.