Libraries still lending a welcome hand to all parts of our society

Hearing that libraries are going to be the locus for health-promotion programmes in the coming year prompted me to do a little research over the last two weeks. 

My report to Examiner readers comes “caveatted up to the gills”, as some famous writer whose name escapes me once said. It is not statistically valid. In fact, it’s not valid at all, because I simply asked people I encountered at work how they felt about libraries.

The question had the satisfactory effect of causing a double-take: Libraries? Haven’t thought of libraries in forever. After that two-second pause, however, a remarkable thing happened. The people being questioned nearly always began to smile. And nod. Some of them said they loved their local library and brought their children to it. One of them said she felt extremely grateful to her library because it had been her refuge during months of agonising job-searching during the recession. 

Through use of the library’s computers, she eventually landed herself a wonderful job, but, she says, she won’t forget the quiet warmth of the library and the silent nods exchanged between regular customers.

Sign in or register for FREE to continue enjoying and to comment on our great range of opinion writers

Not a member yet? Register here

More on this topic

Author Stefanie Preissner on why there’s no place like home

Harris returns 20 years later to magical characters of ‘Chocolat’

Review: Murder of Garcia Lorca gives backdrop to chilling tale

Portrait of a piano man of Yarmouk

More in this Section

Hard on crime, without any hard facts

Another fiasco in the Brexit crisis

Ideology won’t supply housing — only actions will

Cambridge con

More by this author

The barriers to female promotion have nothing to do with language

Postering for elections combines art, science and common sense

Biden’s faults may not hinder him because of President Trump

Why Tom Hanks is light years ahead of every other celebrity


Lifestyle

Weekend food with Darina Allen: World Bee Day

Mind matters: DJs band together for a tribute to The Prodigy's Keith Flint

More From The Irish Examiner