Ever since I learned to read I have thought of the library as a place that brings me pleasure. I loved the library when I was a child and decades on I still do.
At primary school I enjoyed library lessons. I would take my blue and white striped bag into the library so I would be allowed to borrow a book to take home. I was also a member of the Country Lending Service and each month a parcel of three or four books would be sent up on the train. It was exciting to unwrap my books to see what had been chosen for me.
At high school there was a time when the library was more than a place where I could read books. It was my refuge at lunch time during the phase when I had no friends to spend the break with.
During this time I also loved borrowing books on various topics from the town library. I recall borrowing a book about hobbies. I was interested in the chapter on ventriloquism but I don't know if I ever read it. There were details on how to make string puppets and that became my hobby. It was a passion for a couple of years.
At university the library was a place not only to study but also to be in the company of my friends. (It was much easier to make close friends at uni than at high school as there were many students with similar interests and values.) Here the library took care of my academic learning needs but I needed to go to a community library for books on wider interests.
Later in my life it became possible to borrow cassette tapes of music from the library as well as books. As time went by more types of media became available. These days one can access e-books and e-magazines, print information and make use of computers and the internet.
I appreciate the services and activities available. When my children were young they enjoyed the story sessions and school holiday programs. I have attended talks by authors and health professionals and a writers' group I belonged to launched an anthology at a library.
Some libraries organise talks on topics such as cyber crime, internet safety and saving energy in the home. Home energy toolkits are available for loan to enable people to reduce their power bills.
Community members can learn about topics including computer skills, touch typing and tracing their family tree. There are demonstrations on innovative technology such as 3D printing and green screens used in film making. I have yet to explore such features. These days a library is a very different place from what it was some fifty years ago.
Some areas have a mobile library and many libraries deliver materials to people in their homes. It is comforting to know these services exist as I may need to make use of them as I get older. I always want to be able to access a library and the pleasure it brings.