Thursday, 2 August 2012

One Day in Truro Community Library

I work in a library,an endangered species perhaps?

The government seems to think that public libraries are the best and first places to make cuts!
Who goes to them anymore they say.
Why not have them open fewer hours and get them run by volunteers?
They seem to have the idea  that all we do is shelve books,anyone could do that could'nt they?
Think again !
Libraries are places for entertainment ,study and inspiration!
Community based activities and having fun.
Reading aloud outside in our lovely garden.
The garden was created by volunteers.

All the family have a good time in the garden,kids are learning about planting and insects and making art!

Chidren are taking part in the summer reading scheme which keeps them reading through the summer hols!
The help desk where you can order your books,sign up for a bus pass or ask for all kinds of information.
Some of the organic veggies grown in the garden,they were sold and the money will go to buy more seeds!
Local crafts people had a day to show their talents and sell their work..

Some members of the library craft group who we know as The Material Girls!
Gorgeous recycled clothes!
Mother and daughter at their stall.
Two of the staff.
Gentleman checking the financial times in the newspaper lounge.

We have a literature room,art and history rooms with quiet study areas where people can use lap tops and generally browse .We also have a lively front of house with thrillers ,adventure general fiction,displays and chick lit!There is a local history lounge full of info about the amazing land of Cornwall and a young adult section which is positively alive or maybe undead with vampires and mates and dates!
The childrens library is crammed with great reads,talking books,board books for babies.  There are regular story times an after school club too.
There are also yoga  classes for little ones and carers etc.

I  love those romantic poets,I run a poetry group  and readers group once a month..
The cafe has lovely lunches ,tea,coffee cakes and is a great place to meet your friends.
All this took place in one day in the life of my workplace and that is not to mention the shelves full of books of all kinds and now DVDs ,talking books,large print books,graphic novels and music on CD. A housebound service for those who find it hard to get to the library is also avaialable.
There are computers to use, you can download books from our website,find us on facebook too. Ok I am very partisan but I have spent most of my working life in public libraries and I have watched them grow, I have seen the difference they can make in peoples lives sometimes even though spending cuts have slowed us down. We are still here!! I am happy to  be working with books and people and I embrace the new additions too.
The best thing  is still to curl up with a good book. I have not tried curling up with a Kindle yet ! A government that does not value libraries is a government that does not value it's citizens. It denies the magic ,the cohesion that a good library gives to a community.  That is my rant folks!!Now to bed with a good book,I am away to Venice with Donna Leon's lovely Comissario Brunetti !


  1. Wow - that's some library - you all obviously work hard at making it part of your community. Great stuff - think I'll be moving to Truro!

  2. Oh, what a super library you have in Truro and it looks as though it is well used and apreciated by everyone. I love libraries and have done since I was a small child, I always join and support the local one wherever I haved lived but the present one is 'automated' now. You can still browse for books of course and there are computers and community activities but the rest is done by machines - reserved books, checking in and out etc so you can go in and never speak to anyone - your library seems such a friendly, welcoming place:)

  3. How lovely to have both a garden and a cafe, your library is obviously the hub of your community.

  4. Thanks for your comments,it has taken off with the help of a lottery grant and all our hard work trying to keep a human face even though we do have automated checkin and outs. You can order book yoursrelf online or use a terminal at the library.However these things have made it possible to spend more time doing extra things. We always have a host !! who is stationed at the checkin and out machines to help and to chat etc.
    It is good to get to know the borrowers and do book talk. It also leads to borrowers discussing what they have just read and helps to identify people who may need assistance and perhaps to find osolated readers who need The Home Library service. It sounds idyllic and it is when it works. It is awfull what has happened to some libraries and makes me so mad!!

  5. Its really great that you have so many extra activities apart from lending books! This is so amazing. Its so true that libraries instill the love of books and when done at a young age it helps nourish a lifetime. A beautiful post Angela!

  6. What a wonderful library. It is a credit to you all!

  7. Angela, you and your colleagues obviously love the work you do in the library and for your community. So refreshing to hear that a library has not only withstood any possible government cuts but is indeed thriving! I love libraries and have used them since childhood so this is music to my ears.


    1. We have had staff cuts and lost some great people but we are trying to keep afloat. Thanks for you kind words!

  8. I am sorry you are facing cut backs. And I am sorry to hear that the computer era seems to be eradicating the written word. I spend my childhood in libraries, the printed pages were my escape, feeding my imagination and helping me learn not just new languages, but enriching my general knowledge. I hope books never go out of fashion. Indeed, in my new home, when most of my possessions are in storage, what I miss most are my photograph albums, closely followed by my books.
    Have a nice weekend,

  9. Your library looks wonderful! I love the library in my hometown. It's one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen, and it's full of wonderful things. Now that they have a café attached to the library, they get a lot of patrons. The wireless internet attracts a lot of people too. I think it's wonderful how libraries are doing that now. Books and coffee or tea are a perfect together. And when you can browse your favorite blogs while sipping tea, surrounded by books, what more could one ask for?