I’m sure you will remember that I mentioned that our local library has been in the middle of renovations. Although I’ve lived here nearly six months I haven’t been able to visit it, as it has been closed during the refurbishment, and a library van has been visiting here to deliver the books we’ve ordered.
Anyway, my dears, the library re-opened last week so Mrs. M and I decided to make a visit. My goodness how things have changed from the austere surroundings I used to encounter at my library when I was a child. I remember all the signs with “Shhhh” and a finger over closed lips. You weren’t allowed to speak in anything above a whisper and even then the librarian would glare at you for daring to make such a sound.
No, I loved going to the local library, but they weren’t welcoming places for young children. I remember staggering home with eight or ten books tucked under my arms, and hurrying up to my bedroom, I then spent some considerable time choosing the order in which I was going to read them and balancing them in a huge pile with my first choice on the top. My mother would come in to see me and always sat down on the bed while I explained to her why I had decided to get these books. We used to have three weeks to read them, before rushing round to ensure we returned them on time. Do you remember the fines there were for those people who were tardy? There weren’t fines for children though but in my case it wouldn’t have mattered as I always finished reading my books within a week or ten days.
Sometimes mum would come to the library with me. She would choose a couple of books for herself but my dad didn’t read books very often. He preferred his daily newspaper and even then it often remained unopened.
I’m so sorry, my dears; I’ve gone off at a tangent again. I was going to tell you about the visit that Mrs. M and I made a few days ago. Yes, we all received flyers through our doors announcing that the library would be re-opening and that everyone was welcome to go for a look round. We decided to go mid-morning so that we could have a coffee in the community café which is now there.
I don’t know what we were expecting. Certainly not the bright colours and music and laughter we could hear from outside the building. They have, very helpfully, installed electric doors and a little ramp for wheelchair users and mums with pushchairs. That will make it much easier for disabled patrons who can’t get around under their own steam and for mums who don’t have enough arms to manoeuvre a pram, baby and small children Once inside there is a huge atrium with a reception area, lots of seating and plenty of signs indicating what was going on. There will be lots of different classes and workshops – far too many for me to recall at the moment. I must admit that I do fancy the “pottery for beginners” group and also one of the workshops giving a hands-on taster of making felted soaps and needle-felted animals, although the latter is unlikely to be possible for me. As my eyesight is so poor, I would be more likely to needle-felt myself which isn’t recommended!
As I was saying before I got distracted, Mrs. M and I went to have a coffee. The selection of light snacks and home-made cakes and scones was wonderful. I do wonder if Giselle is involved with the baking side of things. I must remember to ask her. When I go out, I always have a hot chocolate. It’s my little treat – it’s far too fattening to have every day, so I restrict myself to having one when I’m not at home. Mrs. M had a coffee – something they call a “flat-white” – to me it just looked like coffee made with milk although I could be wrong.
There was a sign asking for volunteers for reading to a group of children. Apparently this happens during both the morning and afternoon, and although the library staff read to the children, they are encouraging library users to take part on an occasional basis. As the mums will be there, I think I should be able to manage. It sounds like great fun.
I will tell you more about the library when I’ve been a couple more times. I’m sure that it will prove to be a great asset for the community and I must find out what other courses and events will be happening. Anyway, my dears, I should go and decide what I’m going to eat today. Until next time – As Always
With Love – Jan xx