Book Blogger Hop

Bookish: Book Blogger Hop #30

Book Blogger Hop.PNG

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme with a prompt featuring a book related question. The hop begins on a Friday and ends on a Thursday and should hopefully give people the opportunity to learn something new about the blogger.

The Book Blogger Hop can be found on Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and obviously my answers can be found here!

It’s a double question week this week all about libraries; let’s take each question one at a time.

favourite library.jpg

The library that comes to mind first and foremost (because it is the most impressive library I have ever been to) is the New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

I’m pretty sure I just walked around the place pressing my fist against my mouth to stop from squealing. Not only does it house so much knowledge but that knowledge lives in a pretty spectacular place. This ol’ gal has brains and beauty.

I am incredibly jealous of anyone who gets to use this building on a regular basis.

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As to libraries I would like to visit? Here are 4, see if you can see a common theme of what I like in my libraries (besides books that is)!

Clementinum National Library Prague, Czech Repbublic

Clementinum National Library.jpg

Strahov Monastery Library Prague, Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery Library

Wiblinglen Abbey Library Ulm, Germany

Wiblinglen Abbey Library

Admont Abbey Library Admont, Austria

Admont Abbey Library.jpg

visit library.jpg

Oh boy.

This is shameful but I don’t tend to anymore. When I visit libraries it’s either because they’re a historic building or place of interest (i.e. New York Public Library) or because the library is housing a specific event or exhibition (like when I recently went to see Cats on the Page at The British Library in London).

I genuinely can’t remember the last time I went to the library to simply be present there and enjoy the space.

If I look up my local library (which is a 25 minute walk or 5 minute drive) it tells me that there are public computers, events, courses, workshops and of course books to loan and space in which to read/ work/ study.

The unfortunate thing about my local library (as with a lot of libraries) is that it is reliant on public funding. If no one visits libraries then they don’t get a great deal of funding. If they don’t get a great deal of funding they struggle to update and modernise their facilities. If they don’t have modernised facilities there’s no draw to the public and they don’t get a lot of visitors.

See where I’m going with this?

vicious circle

Sadly the library near me is rather outdated and sparse.

There is also something else that I think has an impact on whether libraries (a free space which absolutely should remain free) are used and that is income.

Let’s take a look:-

  • Public computers – computers are no longer the accessory for the very wealthy anymore, a lot of people own a computer in their household if not one per individual. Printers are also now more affordable.
  • Events/ courses/ workshops – these will only have an appeal to those the particular event will appeal to. If I take a look at upcoming events in my local library they are Rhymetime, Construction Club (Lego), Craft and Chatter, Scrabble Club, Managing Your Menopause, Crochet a Cactus. Whilst I friggin’ adore the sound of some of these I am noting that they are offering to a niche audience and that audience isn’t in the bracket of the 20’s – 40’s. Not unless you’re off work or have young children. Libraries (or at least my local ones) don’t seem to be aiming to offer anything for people in the evenings. Also, if you have money you’re probably going to be going to places that offer something a bit more catered to you as an individual.
  • Books – if you have money and want to spend it on books then quite often that’s what you do rather than borrowing a book from the library. After all, you buy a book and it can sit in your house or Kindle forever and you don’t have to worry about heading back to return it. It’s yours, you own it. Now there are more places to buy books than ever and we all know how Amazon undercuts with prices.
  • Free space to read/ work/ study – if you’re lucky enough to have a place in your own home to do these things then why would you exit your cozy house with your nice bathroom and endless tea making facilities? You wouldn’t. People don’t. That’s why we have a problem. Libraries don’t often come with a posh cafe, or at least the ones near me don’t.

Libraries are a wonderful, free space that should remain wonderful and free. In a commercial world where everything has a price I think it’s fantastic that places still exist where people can exist and not have to worry that a value is attached to their presence.

How long this will last? I’m truly not too sure.

Blog Hop

I’m very sorry for not providing anything this week as I haven’t been blog hopping this week. My mojo for blogging has been low recently as I mentioned in my post yesterday – June has not been too kind.

Let’s hope the mojo returns next week and I sort of think it will because I’m sort of forcing it to.

Breaker

What is your favourite library/ library that you desperately want to visit?

I’d also be keen to hear your thoughts on libraries including when you last visited one, what you do there and your local libraries in general. I don’t know if libraries are popular or struggling where you live?

 

12 thoughts on “Bookish: Book Blogger Hop #30

  1. I’m pretty sure if I ever visited one of those libraries I’d plop down on the floor like a starfish and just stare at the ceiling for hours. Ugh, they’re so pretty. ❤

    And I do visit the library pretty often! Not the one nearest me, which is kinda sucky, but the second nearest one is pretty awesome. They have summer reading events where you read books and win prizes and you get to throw water balloons at the staff. And recently they invited drag queens to lead storytime night. It was a lot of fun. 😀

    I feel you on the public funding problem. I think big donations will help a lot of libraries–our library in Vancouver got a $5 mil donation last year, which is apparently the biggest ever in Canada–but I don't know how many rich people are donating to *libraries* nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! They are so stunning and I’d go visit but not for the books. I’d love to be live near one like that!

      Oh my goodness that second library sounds amazing, I am so jealous! We have crochet classes… there’s just no comparison!

      Wow, that’s a generous donation but sadly I think you’re right. Libraries aren’t exactly at the top of the funding or donation chain any more (if they ever were) and I think either libraries would have to offer something spectacular, be held in a historic venue or go all out with their fundraising to achieve sizeable donations these days. I do wonder how long they’ll last and while I imagine large libraries surviving I think smaller ones wont.

      Like

  2. Wow! All of these are gorgeous! ❤ I currently live in Austria and I really want to visit the Admont Abbey Library. I just need to figure out how to get there, since I do live over 4 hours away from it. Hopefully I'll be able to visit in the future! 😀 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to visit it in the future as well! You’ll have to do the whole ‘local tourist’ thing which I was saying to a friend that people don’t tend to do – be tourists in their own countries and then they miss out on some beautiful things. I include myself in that because we have tons of historic libraries that are worth a visit but I haven’t quite gotten round to it yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those Prague and Austria libraries are absolutely gorgeous! I love European architecture, so I’d definitely snatch at the chance to drop by them one day. 😉

    I so feel you about libraries btw. The two near my apartment are pretty outdated, so it’s rather hard to motivate myself to take use of them, whereas the ones near my family home (where I’m currently vacationing) are super amazing; I’m literally frequenting the library these days more often than I’ve ever done in the last 3 years altogether! I forgot what I’d been missing out on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t they just?! I would love to go see them because they are just such a treat for the eyes!

      Oh finding a decent library is like gold dust! There is a decent library about a 20 minute train journey from me but because it’s in a different county I don’t know if I would be allowed to use it. I probably could but they might not let me take any books out. And besides… it’s 20 minutes away by train!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It truly is difficult finding a good library! lol for a minute though, I was scratching my head when you said you have a library by a 20 minute train from you in a different country…I forget Europeans have it good that you’re able to travel by train to all those neighboring countries that I’m dying to visit, but would have to cross the sea to get to. 😂 Ah, am I envious…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah no! Different county not country! Counties are just how the UK are broken into for governing/ admin purposes. Because counties have different councils that run them it means that I might not be able to borrow books etc. from the library of another county because they’d be like ‘give us our books back you dastardly non resident!’

          But being close to Europe is fantastic and I don’t think I always appreciate how close we are to so much. Me and my husband are always saying we need to do more mini breaks in Europe. There’s so much to see all over the world though!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. lol I must’ve misread it!!! 🤣🤣 omg, how embarrassing…I thought it was weird you could borrow books from other countries, but I thought, ah, maybe they have a different system in Europe! *facepalms* I mean, the library in the city right next to mine barely lets me use its computers without an address in that city, so that should’ve been when it clicked…do feel free to judge me! 🤣

            Liked by 1 person

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