I started this blog in 2010 as a snapshot of the situation around visiting libraries and the need to support libraries.
The reasons were four fold:
That there had been media coverage about library cuts – in particular public library closures often in areas that need them most and that are well used.
That libraries were an essential and appealing space to visit.
The challenge of accessing some inaccessible libraries.
That I worked in a library
I updated the blog in 2012
I’d visited 39 libraries (plus 5 almosts i.e. ones that I’d got to the door but no further due to access restrictions). A mixture of public libraries and academic libraries. I hoped that I’d help raise awareness and done my bit to promote and advocate the use of libraries and to explain why they are are essential as a space and for access to resources both print and electronic.
Now an update for 2016
I’ve managed to visit quite a few more libraries although not blogged about all of them at the time – remembered to take photos so may go back and catch up. There have been some repeat visits either to places that I regularly go to or special places or libraries that have been updated or are holding an event. There have been some libraries that have now closed or been moved to a new or different location.
Political awareness of the library landscape has changed and developed – more about volunteers, about shared services and also about closures. Libraries have become part of a bigger picture of austerity cuts to public services and therefore advocacy has changed and developed to match. The closure of libraries has continued but all is not lost and hopefully some of the campaigns will make a difference.
Academic libraries have changed and developed too, no-one is now saying as they were 10 years ago that students were all going to be studying online and would not need a physical library in addition to access to electronic resources. There has been a resurgence of libraries and learning commons type places.
I still enjoy visiting and using libraries and will continue to support and collect them in the same way that people collect locations such as every tube station on the map. Libraries play an important part in my life.
But it’s not about me – as all library supporters know – it’s about ensuring libraries exist for other people to use, to go to and to access information and knowledge because maybe that’s the only place they can.