Library Liberation

Pubic Libraries in Ireland have changed utterly in the last few years and I am now totally in love with them.

As a child, I used to be terrified about all things library, especially of getting into what seemed like awful pickles with librarians over being late back with a book, having spilt some ink on a load of absorbent pages, left the book lying around so that a puppy had a good chew on it, not whispering low enough …..

Now, the fines have been abolished  AND books are borrowed and returned using a self-service gadget.

The librarians are incredibly helpful and seem young and even hippyish.

I wonder has it all really changed or have I just got a bit older.  If the same transformation could only happen with dentists, I’d be away on a hack. They have got younger and smilier  but no self-service gadgets yet!




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

11 thoughts on “Library Liberation”

  1. During this pandemic the library scene has changed ..You call for the books you want and then pick them up at the curbside..I don’t know if it will resume to what we knew as our library..Certainly safe distance is being used and also masks are mandatory. It’s been eons since I have been there. I usually pick up books either free or for short money. I know they do deliver to your doorstep for those who can’t visit because of various reasons…Even the Senior center is closed accept for help with various health issues …like podiatrist or hearing aid specialist…lunch delivery but the regular offered programs are at a stand still and this is the time that they are really needed for those alone…

    1. Our libraries opened on shortened hours and with strict social distancing and masks a little while ago. No doubt yours will in time.
      Ours also offer loads of online facilities from ebooks to audiobooks to classes. Amazing service but it’s hard to beat actually browsing in person.

  2. So glad you are enjoying our libraries so much these days Jean. You are right, even before the covid happening there were many changes in the library system, and all for the better. There were many more workshops and involvement with the children and schools. It was always such a pleasure to work in the library and like you I make full use of them always. We can go and pick our own books all right. I know that the staff are working very hard to keep everything very clean. Where would we be without our libraries 🙂

  3. Between the ages of 11 and 12 I used to go on the bus from home to Chiswick most days of the Summer holiday and some Saturdays to help out at the Library. I think my Dad knew the head librarian. I loved it I felt so grown up! …I rarely go near a library now. …. Dentists? I am with you on that one…💜💜💜

  4. Nothing like the scent of a book and holding it as you take on it’s experience be it a mystery, romance or what ever appeals to you..I am presently reading three different books that appeal to me..They are “The World According To Tom Hanks” by Gavin Edwards, “The Raising Of A President” by Doug Wead and “A Letter To My Mom” created by Lisa Erspamer ..All are very well written and interesting reading…I also like inspirational books and daily journal readings..A good way to start ones day…

  5. In a way I miss the traditional libraries of our youth, the fear of drawing a glare from the lady for a cough or creaking floorboard but also the peace and space to discover subjects and topics which, at that time, were only available from library books. But I also admire the manner in which they have moved with the times to remain relevant.

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