Libraries are invaluable; they offer endless fact and fiction almost entirely for free – no wealth required.
Libraries are one of the most vital aspects of our society. During his election campaign our public face called them the “Palaces Of Our Minds” In the wider global context, a place where anyone can go and get a book for free is a truly wonderful thing. But libraries represent so much more than an accessible book collection. They are a place where a pupil can find quiet space to study, where anyone can use a bank of computers, or where organised gatherings have the potential to bring a community together. To lose our libraries would be to lose a huge part of ourselves. We believe that ‘absolutely anyone can work towards bettering themselves’, and libraries are a stepping stone towards achieving that, here in Shepway and beyond.
In Shepway we visited our eight libraries (in 2014/15 latest available data) on average 3.93 times in the year, or put another way 444,294 times, as the graph shows below.
Libraries gave many of us our qualifications, our “O” Levels, GCSE’s, A levels, Degree’s, HND’s … Books have taught us so much, they too have allowed us to escape the daily monotony of life, to escape, in words , CD’s in sound and DVD’s in film. These brief moments of escapism help our well-being and our equilibrium and in 14/15 we escaped 285,886 times.
Libraries have allowed us to stay in touch with those far far away and play such an important and vital role in our community of Shepway. They allow those who need to search for work an opportunity to do so, read the newspapers, send an email, or just to chat to a loved one via skype. Across the district in 14/15 we used them for the equivalent of 2,418 days, or 6.62 years; which is an awesome figure.
And for these services that all eight libraries provide us, they cost so little, yet provide so much. They truly are value for money, we believe.
Our libraries are a window into every emotion you could ever feel, into every place you could ever imagine or never imagine. And the staff who man these “palaces of our minds” are truly great people, so we’d like to say thank you to each and everyone of them.
Libraries are integral to our towns and villages we live in, and let us all hope they will be integral to our children’s towns and to our children’s children’s too.
The Shepwayvox Team