What’s good about libraries? P

Library A to Z: PI’m following the A to Z Challenge by posting every day in April (except Sundays) about the importance of libraries. I’m using the Library A to Z advocacy materials and a small selection of quotations in each post.

What good things about libraries begin with P?

Paper; partnerships; personal development; photocopying; photographs; pictures (accessing images); political literacy (enabling people to find out about politics in a neutral way); power; printers.

The late, lamented Terry Pratchett gives us our only library P quote:

The way to get children reading is to leave the library door open and let them read anything and everything they want.

Featured above is the Pepys Library in Cambridge which houses the collection of the great, seventeenth century diarist on his own shelves. Samuel loved his books. One diary entry concludes:

So home to look on my new books that I have lately bought, and then to supper and to bed.

Do you have any other suggestions for P?

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Anabel Marsh

I'm a proud Glaswegian who loves to go gallivanting both at home and abroad. Join me in my travels, both historic and current. Credit where credit's due: photography mostly by my more talented other half, John.

10 thoughts on “What’s good about libraries? P”

  1. A few more P words… Patrons,we wouldn’t be around without them. Privacy is extremely important in public libraries in the United States. It’s guaranteed by the American Library Association’s Library Users Bill of Rights. The only annual training wall library staff is required to take is the refresher on data privacy. And of course Policies, including policies about privacy such as the Patron Data Privacy Policy and the Staff and Volunteer Responsibilities Towards Patron Data Policy ( safeguard privacy, protect patrons privacy, enforce rules about privacy).

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    1. That’s interesting. Privacy and confidentiality are valued here too, obviously, and staff have to know about Data Protection laws etc, but I don’t think (and UK public librarians might correct me) the training is as frequent as annual. As more and more libraries, mainly in England, are handed over to “the community”, i.e. to be run entirely by volunteers, it’s a big issue.

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  2. Once, I was a page in the Edmond Public Library in Edmond, Oklahoma. The concept of shelving books by size is certainly appealing, but then how would we find a specific book? Ah, but imagine what else we might find while we looked.

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    1. Serendipity!

      Pepys was also known, in later years when running out of room in the “small” section to build little platforms for books do that they could sit with taller ones.

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