Every year, libraries everywhere provide joy, help and knowledge to their community. From their countless shelves lined with books waiting to be read, to the fantastic staff who help organise all the activities, there’s always something to gain from spending time at the library. That is why on Saturday 7 February National Libraries Day was celebrated, to appreciate all the wonderful things that the library does for its users. I went to Redbridge Central Library to see what was going on to mark the occasion.
It was very fitting to mark the whole occasion on the birthday of one of the most widely read and loved authors, Charles Dickens. So it only seemed right to have a Victorian theme running through the celebrations on the day. Nick Dobson was on hand to provide an insight into the life and career of Charles Dickens through pictures and readings from actor Allan Yeoman. Something a little bit more creative for the children was the crafts session where you could make your very own Victorian set of accessories including hats and fans. Seeing all the finished products almost transported you right back to the 1800s!
I was very lucky to have been given the task of finding out what the library really means to the community. Armed with a camera, clipboard and coloured pens I asked children, students and adults to complete the sentence ‘to me, the library is…’ to understand what it is that they will be celebrating about the library. I had some fantastic responses. Some people had so many answers they had to write them all down. Many of the students seemed to mainly appreciate the peaceful surroundings in the study areas, allowing them the right environment to succeed in their studies. The younger library-goers seemed to love the books and the activities on offer at the library. Other people wanted to celebrate specific services of Redbridge Central Library, including Redbridge Museum and the fantastic Heritage Services.
Being at the library on any day is always a great experience, but being there on National Libraries Day really makes you truly appreciate everything that the library is and does. Without the library, where would we be? I asked myself this as I walked away from the studying students, the cheerful children and all the other people enjoying what the library has to offer. I realised just how fortunate I am to have such a great facility on my doorstep.
Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar