Tuesday 2 July 2019

The Public library

In 1919, the Public Libraries Actcreated public libraries

50 year later, I started reading my way through the Stamford Hill public library. I started in the Children's section; Edith Nesbit, Arthur Ransome, Captain W E Johns, Hugh Lofting and on and on.

The on to the adults library non-fiction - I persuaded the Librarian that books on maths and physics were unlikely to currupt my pure soul, so I rampaged through the Humour section (Jerome K Jerome, George Mikes and P G Wodehouse). Then on to the main fiction section.

I persuaded the librarian that I needed ten tickets, so that I could take out ten books per week. Then I discovered that I could get the bus to Tottenham Library, and get another ten tickets. And the the Hackney Library. And tickets from one of those, could be used in the others. I was taking my sister's old push chair each time I visited the library, to haul away my selections.

My education was partly at school, and partly in the public libraries.

I'm very sad that cuts in funding are leading to so many of them closing.