Library rootsTrips to the mobile library after primary school. A great deal of fun and excitement selecting that week's reading from the children's section. The mobile library was a terrible grey colour, but was an articulated lorry trailer, and the children's section was in the bit above the connection with the truck unit. (A similar sort of vehicle is pictured here). It was always exciting going, and they used Browne Issue!! Mum was, and still is, a big reader and she spent many hours encouraging me through my dyslexia and opening up the wonderful world of the book.
Teenage years. Seeking solace in the high school library. A lunchtime library pass would mean that I wasn't beaten up in the playground, or my blazer chucked over the school fence. Asterix the Gaul books in French. Similarly, at weekends visits to the central libraries in Luton or Dunstable. The microfiche catalogue was a wonder to behold. The Library at Sixth Form College also became a place of refuge, although the Common Room and cheese toasties had growing allure. That, or joining the masses sitting in the main corridor, just watching the other students go back and forth, trying to perfect that teenage disinterested / threatening look. Never really mastered that!
|Luton Sixth Form College|
© Copyright Nigel Cox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Undergraduate career. I worked incredibly hard at university driven by my love of study, poor social skills, a general lack of balance in life, and most significantly, terrible A-Level results. Many happy hours in the Library, second floor overlooking the Loch and watching the mists and clouds dance over the Ochills. Biological Abstracts in hard copy became an absolute joy and I revelled in a catalogue on computer.
|Grounds of Stirling University|
© Copyright Eva Forbes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Present day. I still use my local public library, and have retained that magic and awe in visiting. It's a place that provides me with potential for escape, together with a feeling of belonging to my local community. My leisure reading helps me to escape to places or situations that I have slim chance of actually being at, and enables me to meet and experience people and lives whose paths I would not cross in real life. Library staff still inspire and guide my reading. However, the computer and smartphone take increasing amounts of my time and attention.
Library RoutesAnother story of an accidental librarian (sorry!).
- Uncertain what to do at the end of my undergraduate degree, I stumbled across several posts for graduate trainees to work in libraries. Lady Luck shone and I was successfully appointed to a position, one of four, at the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster), working in the Engineering and Science Library on New Cavendish Street. Completed a very happy and informative year, and was accepted to study Librarianship at the University of Sheffield.
|115 New Cavendish Street - site of the PCL Engineering & Science Library.|
© Copyright Stephen Richards and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
In writing this account I'm struck by a few key messages: