Our local library is under threat of closure. So are many more.
When we moved into our first house – a tip that was a classic 1980s Yuppie doey-uppey – mum and dad came to help us move in. It was a snowy January, the place was freezing, the kitchen, such as it was, a mess. There was one carpet, no curtains and bugger all to recommend it. Mum was ecstatic at the potential, dad depressed at the work involved.
Ever the practical one, while dad and I heaved furniture hither and yon mum went off to find some milk and bread. She came back, if anything, even more ecstatic.
‘You’ve a Carnegie!!’
“A Carnegie library. Best contribution by a Scot to London (Mum was very capable of dissing our fellow Brits and denying Carnegie’s American citizenship in one breath).
Sure enough, just around the corner from our new home sat, in a strange orange hue a fabulous, slightly damp, musty smelling library. To mum the existence of a civilisation was shown by (a) the propensity of the people to make flower gardens and (b) the proximate availability of a free lending library.
Some of my earliest memories centre around libraries, not always happy ones. As a small boy I didn’t feel any inclination to read, unlike the Archaeologist who started young, started fast and hasn’t stopped. He devours books with the alacrity of a Dementor given the freedom of Motown. Mum and dad encouraged him while I whined about going outside to play a game.
Eventually I came to appreciate their benefits and have continued to do so, but for a hiatus at University where an unconscionable amount of my life was spent in the law library pouring over tomes so old that some copies were made out of stone. I lost my eyesight thus (and not as a result of any other soapy teenage pursuit).
But I’ll admit I can hardly complain about closure because I don’t use it. There. Mea Culpa. I deserve to be immediately unfollowed
Charli’s prompt this week has, necessarily, engendered much guilt.
March 2, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a library. You can honor the libraries in your own experience, dream about libraries of the future or explore a community without one. Bonus points for discovering something you didn’t know your library offered. For example, my library offers organic and heirloom seeds.
Mary received a letter last week about her half -sister reopening a mystery that has been plaguing all of us for months…
Lending a hand
‘Shh.’ Mary stilled the grizzling baby. ‘She’s teething. You don’t mind?’
‘Libraries can’t afford to these days. Do you need a hand?’
‘A map of Ireland?’
‘You can use the computers.’
‘I prefer a map. To see the bigger picture.’
As the librarian found the map, he asked, ‘Holiday?’
‘I’m trying to trace my twin sister.’
‘Are you from there?’
‘No. I’ve just heard she may have lived in Galway.’
‘Good luck. Can you sign the petition? Against closure.’
‘Of course. We mustn’t lose the library. It’s too important.’
‘Ah well, if only people would see the bigger picture.’
You’ll find the back story for Mary here.