Why you still need your library

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When was the last time you went to your local library? The chances are that – if you are out of school but not yet retired – it was some time ago.

Librarians are always complaining that the only people they seem to see in their libraries are young people and old people, and that the “in-betweeners” are notable by their absence.

That’s a shame, because libraries have so much to offer to people of all ages. The thing is, libraries have much more in them than just rows of books on shelves – although I happen to think that books are cool things anyway. Information and entertainment comes in all sorts of formats, so if you’d rather listen and view instead of reading, there are plenty of CDs and DVDs to borrow as well.

Not everyone has access to a computer, but they can go the library and use one there – or take advantage of free Wi-Fi access to link to the Internet from their own laptop, tablet or other device.

I always reckon that the best things you will find in the library are the library staff – well, you’d expect me to say that, wouldn’t you? But it’s true – the library staff members are there to help you find what you want and also to help you make sense of what you’ve found.

We’re good at knowing how information works and how it’s organised, so we can help to turn your question – however vague it might be to start with – into something that is useful to you.

We know that the Internet has replaced paper-based resources for many people when it comes to finding things out, but the Internet is not always easy to use. We have plenty of tricks up our sleeves that can help you to find your way around and save hours of wasted time going down blind alleys. The library subscribes to services that most people do not have access to, so you can explore these extra resources or ask us to do so on your behalf.

All sorts of fun things happen at the library – there are movie nights, quiz nights and games clubs at many libraries, as well as a chance to get out and meet new people. The library has become a social hub for many communities, and an indispensable part of the local scene.

It’s high time you paid your local library another visit – you’ll always be welcome.