Saturday, 2 May 2009

In praise of libraries

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So, I've still not done anything crafty. Unless you count the very creative process of making my hair look normal before I went to work this morning. I have crafty things planned, honest, I just haven't got round to starting them yet.

So I thought I'd blog on a subject dear to my heart - libraries and how wonderful they are. I've always known libraries were fantastic, but I didn't realise quite how fantastic until I started working in a public one.

You can get anything from a library. This week I have borrowed books on cooking for a family on a budget, how to put on make-up and look vaguely nice, a book of short stories based on operas edited by Jeanette Winterson, and as many picture board books as my fickle daughter can look at, discard, and go 'eeah' at.

I have also looked at an online map of my neighbourhood that shows where all the street lights are, searched census entries for free using the library subscription to, and done some photocopying. Had I been a bit more organised and not prone to falling asleep as soon as I collapse on the sofa after putting munchkin to bed, I might even have rented a dvd. For £2 for a whole 7 days!

And when I do get crafty again, and I want a book on, say, knitting with animal hair, or weaving plastic bags into clothing, or pipecleaner arranging, I can search the countywide catalogue online, and reserve any book of my choice from any library in Lancashire, and they'll send me a text when it's ready to pick up from my local library. How cool is that?

Munchkin is also excellently catered for. As well as being able to borrow 20 items of her choosing, she is does the Bookstart Bookcrawl and gets a little sticker on a card every time she takes books out. It's a bit like that loyalty card thing you get at coffee places. Except when her card is full she doesn't get a skinny mochalatte, she gets a jazzy certificate with some lovely pictures and her name on, that she can stick on her wardrobe door and go 'Eeeah' at. She also goes to a fantastic thing called 'Bounce and Rhyme' every week, where she gets to clap along to songs and shout at other like-minded munchkins.

And it's all freeeeeeee!

So, if you haven't been into your library for a bit, or you use it loads but just for getting out the latest Peppa Pig for your munchkin, take another look. Stop spending hours browsing all those shiny craft books on Amazon that you can't afford, go and borrow them!

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