Libraries still lending a welcome hand to all parts of our society

Hearing that libraries are going to be the locus for health-promotion programmes in the coming year prompted me to do a little research over the last two weeks. 

My report to Examiner readers comes “caveatted up to the gills”, as some famous writer whose name escapes me once said. It is not statistically valid. In fact, it’s not valid at all, because I simply asked people I encountered at work how they felt about libraries.

The question had the satisfactory effect of causing a double-take: Libraries? Haven’t thought of libraries in forever. After that two-second pause, however, a remarkable thing happened. The people being questioned nearly always began to smile. And nod. Some of them said they loved their local library and brought their children to it. One of them said she felt extremely grateful to her library because it had been her refuge during months of agonising job-searching during the recession. 

Through use of the library’s computers, she eventually landed herself a wonderful job, but, she says, she won’t forget the quiet warmth of the library and the silent nods exchanged between regular customers.

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