For the first time in months I was able to visit the local library in person, return the books I’ve been giving shelf room to since early spring and, inevitably, return laden with another bag of knowledge and entertainment in dead tree format.
For the local library system, bookings have to be made in advance, which hooks into the eventbrite service. You get a 25 minute slot, starting on the hour or half hour and I think the extra five minutes give staff time to chase out stragglers and do a spot of sanitising. I had to change my original booking when I realised a delivery was likely to turn up at home at the same time but that turned out to be easy. I don’t think the service is oversubscribed yet, so I just set up the new one and cancelled the old one.
That’s good but, knowing the country is in a deep recession, I am concerned that libraries could be an easy target when spending restrictions start to bite. Politically, I don’t expect it will be called ‘austerity’ but, unless we get a change of Government heart (a simple change of Government would do me), I will surprised if they put more taxes on the rich, chase down mega corporations and deal with dubious “tax avoidance” schemes to balance the, erm, books.
Use it or lose it applies to a lot of things right now but I’d appeal to my fellow bibliophiles to make the extra efforts needed to visit and demonstrate that physical libraries are invaluable and cherished.