Ok well, I’ve been working on my site and doing so much work for my course that I thought now would be a nice time to take a quick step back and reflect a little on my love of libraries.
There is a public library at home in Clonmel, Co Tipperary that embodies my entire childhood. I loved that place! I have loved books ever since I learned how to read, and that was probably before I could even talk properly. When I discovered that there was a building full of books that you could borrow, read and return in exchange for more books, well, it was like all my Christmases had come all at once. My memories of being a school-kid involve getting home from school and going to see my grand-parents and being brought to the library. The children’s section was right at the front, everything was in bright colours and the room smelt like books. (If you’re an avid book lover, you’ll understand!) I read as much as I could, my parents would find me with a torch under the covers when it was supposed to be lights out. I think I read every Roald Dahl book in the library, including short stories and the adult ones before I was 12. In fact, I think it was around that age that the librarians, who knew me very well, rang my parents to ask if I could have an adult card to take more, and much longer, books home.
In secondary school, we moved away from the town. I rarely went to the library; preferring instead to make do with the Christmas presents and trips to the book-store. I regret this now because when I went to college I was slightly scared or intimidated by the library. However, once I discovered the Boole Library, the love affair started all over again. Not only was I able to find books, and plenty of them, there was so much more to the library than I could have dreamed. In secondary school you are taught, I don’t believe learning things off to pass a test is really learning. I did very well at school but by the time I had gotten to Leaving Cert I was bored to tears. College and the library was like a complete parallel universe where I could learn and read and discover for myself.
I love libraries because they give us this amazing opportunity to discover what it is you need. Libraries are capable of showing you the world and everything in it. Librarians are like the tour guides (or at least they should be.) They should direct you where to go on the journey, keep everything in order to make it easier to navigate and be close by in case you get lost. With the Web and so much more technology there’s even more to discover and hopefully the library will remain the place of discovery. As a future librarian I am going to strive to make sure that wherever I end up is a place that helps and supports learning and guides people on their journey to whatever information it may be that they are searching for.