Yagnub library

Yesterday, I went to the local library, for the first time in at least five years.  I used to go there regularly – I borrowed ten books at a time, which I had for up to three weeks.  I might renew a few or I might go more often, but I used and appreciated it.  And then, as things got more worrying at home, I couldn’t read books any more and I stopped borrowing them – I didn’t stop buying them and had an awful lot of unread books, most of which I’ve caught with by now, but that’s another matter.

In the intervening years, local governments charged with saving money have had their eyes on libraries.  Some have had their hours cut, some have been closed, but public opinion has kept most of them open.  I happened to have ten minutes in hand and was right by the library, so went in.  Taking out the books is self-service now, but I knew my card must be out of date, so went to the desk and it was duly renewed, and I went to look at books.  I was rather shocked.  There are well under half the books that there used to be.  In the case of non-fiction, however, I’d say it’s down to a fifth.  Several double-backed shelves have been removed and the remaining ones are barely half full.  In fiction, about a quarter of the space is taken with crime novels and the large print books are now on a shelf or two instead of a whole bookcase.  The children’s section is also much smaller than it used to be.

I’ve taken out four books and will visit weekly from now on.  I’m sorry I haven’t been more supportive.

5 comments on “Yagnub library

  1. Blue Witch

    Did you know that you can have a card with neighbouring counties’ libraries (you can apply online and your ticket comes through the post)? And you can order and renew books online, and take out/return to any library in your county.

    Suffolk are still buying many more books than Essex, and I frequently manage to get books (especially crafty books) I want from the former when the latter can’t supply. Suffolk are also still taking requests for new books to be bought too, which other counties around here aren’t.

    1. Z Post author

      Yes, I have a Norfolk card too, I used to visit Norwich library regularly. And often renewed books online – it’s just occurred to me that I didn’t stamp my books with the date, so it’s just as well I’ve been emailed it. There were several new books, which they display separately and I borrowed one of them. But the removal of whole bookcases shocked me.

    2. Mike and Ann.

      Hello Z. We do have a pretty good library here in Highdale, but I’ve not been using it much lately. However, after reading your description of Yagnub’s changes to the library, I popped into ours and found much the same thing i.e. bigger spaces between the bookcases. Also, I know I’m in the habit (an expensive one) of not returning borrowed books on time. But there are now shelves with ‘for sale’ books on them, and bought a couple of books by writers I like, so I think I’ll try and get back into the habbit of popping into our library on a more refular basis, so that I can buy as well as borrow books.

      1. Z Post author

        It was when I had a massive bill, the cost of a hardback book, for not returning books on time, that I stopped going. However, now there are email reminders and online renewals, there’s less excuse. And I’ve put the return date in my diary. Our library sells them off too, it’s always worth a browse.

  2. Allotmentqueen

    Our library has gone through a massive upheaval – involving selling off the old building and building a new one which also included shutting for three months – but a year on in and it’s a much more lively place. Yes, there are less books, but I now reserve books online (throughout the whole of LibrariesWest which includes Bristol, Somerset and Dorset and maybe more areas as well) so I think there are probably vastly more books available that I hadn’t realised were there before (although don’t even think about trying to borrow a book which currently resides in a prison of which we seem to have quite a few). Because libraries are under threat, then there are more events being held and there is a Friends group which actively pushes these. But I think because we were threatened with mass library cuts then people started to become more pro-active. Also we’ve gone from having four PCs to ten PCs, which are heavily used. (I only use them these days when I want to look up something on Ancestry – which is free with the library edition – as I don’t want to subscribe to at home).

    PS Don’t rely on email reminders for your renewals.


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