What the library means to me
Published on 16th November 2021
My love affair with libraries started in rural Ireland where I grew up. I was a voracious reader and I quickly made friends with the local librarian who sneaked me a couple of extra books on a Saturday. She inspired me to read different genres and to consider anything, not just the books I liked the look of. This early grounding in books continued when I moved to Dublin, worked by day and studied by night.
My library haunts at this stage were Capel Street, Thomas Street, and Pearse Street which I could run out to in my lunch hour. When I married and had my own children, I couldn’t wait to introduce them to the magical world of libraries where they could pick and choose whatever they liked. When I married and had my own children, I couldn’t wait to introduce them to the magical world of libraries where they could pick and choose whatever they liked. A visit to the library was a weekly family affair with more frequent trips during the holidays.
My interest in children’s books never waned as I became a teacher for children with additional needs. The last class everyday was given over to reading a story and it was amazing the spell it cast over even the most reluctant reader. They would sit still and listen and became inspired to write and read their own stories.
I always encouraged parents to join the library to continue the magic and the special bond with books for them. I eventually retired but still read avidly. My library became even more important to me. My place of sanctuary, of learning once again the joys of sitting in a book filled room reading the paper quietly or exchanging views with my book club members or my conversation groups.
All of this ended abruptly in March 2020 when the library closed and my life changed dramatically. As a book magpie, I had a collection of novels to read and neighbours came to the rescue but it wasn’t until I heard of the home delivery service that my heart soared with joy again.
Books were delivered to my door, different genres, different authors. A Pandora’s box of delight, which transported me back to my first library experience. What a service! I was like a child again waiting for a treat, one that did not disappoint. Not being computer proficient, I needed help to get online and another, entirely different world of libraries opened up for me.
In the last 18 months I have attended chair aerobics, baking classes, beautiful poetry readings, music sessions. I have 'Asked a Librarian' (or two!) and I have received huge support along the way. As I am no longer mobile, the library has opened up the world once again for me. I can travel anywhere, listen to the world of music, watch performances and indulge my love of children’s literature – with librarians now reading to me.
Thank you Dublin City Libraries for this ever evolving commitment to the people of Dublin.
You have given me a lifetime of joy.
By a "secret" borrower of Dublin City Libraries.