I ventured to our library last week with the children. I was excited when I read the MOTR the article by Jackie Anderson. The last time I visited the library here in Gibraltar, I was preparing for exams (so that is quite a while ago!) The article inspired me to pop in again, hopeful that I could start forging similar memories to mine when I was younger. The library was a big part of my childhood, we went weekly to choose our books and I spent many hours there exploring the shelves and learning. I cherish those memories.
I took along my 4 month old and an excited toddler who also loves reading. When we entered the library I found the children section situated in a bright and sunny part of the library. I could feel the warmth on my shoulders which was lovely as it was a bit chillier than I am used to! The space isn’t huge, but as it was empty, it didn’t matter. I was delighted to see a nice “breastfeeding friendly” sign in the window. It is great to see our local community supporting breastfeeding, and I felt very comfortable feeding my baby whilst I read to my toddler.
We spent just over an hour looking through the books, and reading on the beanbags. We found a couple of classics that we hadn’t yet read. Some of the books were very dated. I asked the librarian whether there would be more books available soon, I was pleased to hear that the library has been given a grant and is expanding its selection. The librarian took the time to show me around and I saw all the new books that had recently been added right across the library. The injection of colour made it obvious. The librarian was so enthusiastic about the library, it was inspiring to see. I asked whether they accepted donations, keen to make sure that any books I had could be passed on, she explained that they had to be in excellent condition, which is understandable.
I feel very passionate about libraries and their place in our community. They are a great place not just to learn and expand our knowledge but how to respect people and things. A library gives us the opportunity to teach our children that it is important to take good care of property and remind them that these books belong to everyone. It is also a good place to practise respecting those around us by using our quiet voices. I’m not sure we mastered that one just yet and my 4month old decided she was particularly vocal! It’s a work in progress.
At the end we took a few books away to read at home. One of them was The Hueys: None the Number by Author Oliver Jeffers. At home we already have The Hueys: The New Jumper which is a brilliant book. My sister brought it for us as my Dad is called Huwey!
The signing up process was very quick, again the staff were very friendly. My toddler was very excited that he could actually take the books home (he’s read them every night since with his Daddy). Before venturing home we stopped downstairs to have a little snack. There is a cafe just in the corner. It is a very peaceful place just to stop for a moment, listen to the fountain and enjoy the warmth of the sun radiating through the courtyard.
I really enjoyed the experience and we have been back since to exchange our books and pick up some new ones. I am excited that the library is growing and I look forward to making this a weekly event, helping my children learn and to establish an important association with books.
Thank you Jackie, for the inspiration!