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The Joy Of Libraries

An Amazingly Useful And Unique Concept

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2023
The Lit & Phil


I just started writing this in Google Docs and then Grammarly asked if I wanted to sign up. I thought I had Grammarly everywhere but obviously not on this laptop which will be my computer home for my week in Alnwick. I wasn’t sure if I could write tonight and the lovely place I am staying in has wifi and TV issues, but thanks to DVD, a USB stick and a portable wifi hub provided by the owner I can actually write and post something, although I would have had the option of tethering to my phone.

I then started thinking about the real concept of a library and how important they are in any society, so here are my thoughts. I would love to hear yours.

Why Libraries Are A Near-Perfect Concept

I have held a library card all my life, well ever since I was old enough to hold one. I was lucky to be able to read before I started Primary School because my mum and dad taught me and turned me into a voracious reader. This is something I passed on to my daughters and was surprised at the anger it caused in some teachers, but that was wiped out by the sheer joy it caused in others.

My daughters used libraries for books and computer access, for both school projects and their own pleasure, and the fact they are free at the point of service means that everyone is able to use them while abiding by certain rules.

Libraries are probably the only place where you can go, learn and take things away (return them), without being pressured into buying things or spending any money. Yes, they are funded by taxes but they are not designed to make a profit, only to help people.

When I was unemployed I used the library to read books that I couldn’t afford to buy and to use computer systems to research things that I needed to know and to put together a CV that eventually helped me get back into work. For me, that was over twenty years ago but for a lot of people, libraries are essential refuges from the corporate world.

Right-wing governments are trying to close down free libraries because they allow people to educate themselves. Those banned books? Your local library will either have them or be able to get them for you.

If you can’t afford to buy a book you can borrow it for nothing from the library as long as you have a card, and here you can see my old battered but still functional card for Newcastle Libraries.

Libraries encourage people to do more with their lives. You will never walk into a library and think I don’t think I can afford this. The Lit and Phil is an independent library in Newcastle which has been host to many important historical events, but people are still welcome within its walls to enjoy the books and the surroundings.

Again after my last redundancy, I enjoyed spending a lot of time there just enjoying the surroundings, reading books, eating cake and drinking tea and coffee. The food and drink were not free but the atmosphere and reading were.


Libraries are places where you can explore and go on a mental adventure. I am lucky enough to have four in easy reach for me and I do visit them often.

If you don’t have a library card, get one. If you don’t use a library, find one and you will not regret taking advantage of the facilities behind the library doors.

The song I have included is Belle and Sebastian's "Wrapped Up In Books".

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Comments (38)

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  • finley austenabout a month ago

    Click on the given link to get any type of help regarding essays, assignments, reports:

  • I do not know if it is an actual plot, by someone smarter than me, but it seems more and more, people in different societies are being socially isolated. This affects our abilities as the common people in so many different aspects. The notion of a student nowadays, going to a library to do research, seems to be waning quickly. I have great memories from many days and nights spent inside a library. You may enjoy the following: Thank you for your thoughts.

  • 🎉Incredible Article and Congratulations on your Top Story❗

  • Mark Graham6 months ago

    Totally agree with you. Libraries are great places to read, learn and relax. My favorite library was my college library with all the stacks and reading rooms and study carols. When I went back for my second degree the library starting offering tea and coffee in one of the reading rooms on the first floor.

  • Ruthie M.7 months ago

    Thank you for your story. I love libraries and that would be one of my dream jobs. Well written!

  • I love it

  • sachpak8 months ago

    Great reminder on the basics of an essay.

  • SHANMUGA PRIYA C9 months ago

    Most inspiring 🤩

  • Rasheek Rasool9 months ago


  • Gobi Munusamy9 months ago

    Congratulations on top story! Good story

  • Martha Ball9 months ago

    Loved this personal history! Librarians are always trying to help their community more and more, and it is feedback like this that allows them to do so

  • JBaz9 months ago

    I agree with you on your view. I love the library. This was a weekly affair with my children and I To go there. I think it is a shame that we still need to discuss. Banning of books, what year is this? Thank you Mike for always writing about something that means so much to everyone. Congratulations

  • Chelsea Lynne9 months ago

    Amazing story!! Libraries have always been my safe space and you do a great job explaining why and the broader value they bring to society.

  • Matthew Daniels9 months ago

    This kind of stuff is why I got my Master's degree in Library and Information Science. Sadly, the career path didn't pan out, but that's another story. Libraries offer a wide array of services, resources, and expertise that you may not find elsewhere -- certainly not without paying fees, subscriptions, tuitions, memberships, and so on. Not everyone has the luxury of those commitments of money and other resources. The public libraries you're talking about are vital, I'd argue, for a society that cares for its people -- which is what societies are supposed to do. The public library can be a cultural hub for readings, performances, lectures, maps, and much more. Which is great for minorities or just members of a society who want to retain their selfness in the face of corporate standardization. Many libraries, such as legal or medical, are not necessarily open to the public -- which makes sense. Academic libraries also offer a surprising number of resources. I can't speak for the US or other nations, but here in Canada, anyone in the public can get a membership at a university library. You might not have all the access and privileges as students, faculty, or staff, but that's to be expected. Always great to see libraries getting some love. So thanks for that, and congrats on Top Story. :)

  • Melissa Ingoldsby9 months ago

    I love this and feel this as I always feel at home with books and libraries are my heart’s home. Congratulations on the top story brother!!!

  • Vikas Mishra9 months ago

    fabulous written

  • Gal Mux9 months ago

    I agree! They are actually the only place in 2023 where you can go and receive a service without the expectation of spending money

  • Brenton F9 months ago

    Nice piece! I never knew I had so many library related memories!

  • SAID EL MARDI9 months ago


  • Nikki Clam9 months ago

    This article beautifully captures the essence of libraries and their significance in our lives. It highlights how libraries not only provide us with access to information but also serve as a community space where people can gather, learn, and connect with each other. The author's personal anecdotes and reflections add a personal touch to the article, making it a delightful read. Overall, this article celebrates the joy of libraries and reminds us of the invaluable role they play in our society.

  • Lori Melton9 months ago

    Have loved libraries since I learned how to read. What a blissful place to be surrounded by free books and all those stories, information, and words. Congrats Mike! 😊❤️

  • Congratulations on the top story Mike. My dad used to take us to the library all the time as kids and I took mine. They are avid readers now

  • Heather Hubler9 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • I love libraries. It is an amazing concept that so much is offered freely. Well at least in the U.S. our taxes go to fund free libraries. But the payoff is amazing.

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