A short meditation on libraries

There are people in the world who deserve more status in society than they get.

Nurses. Teachers. Librarians.

It is the librarians I am thinking of now… our local library sends out an email when my books are overdue, and one of those came in this morning.

My love of libraries is partly about the books, and partly about the way a library makes space for slowness and carefulness.

But libraries also are places where unnoticed community work happens.

In our small local library, standing in the queue, I watched a boy – he looked to be about 12 or 13 – in front of me reach the counter.

He had some books under one arm, and a supermarket packet in the other hand.

Having had his books scanned and stamped, he was about to put them in the supermarket packet.

But the librarian stopped him.

“Wait,” he said gently. “That’s eggs in your packet. You can’t put the books on top of the eggs.”

And then he helped the boy carefully take the eggs out of the packet, put the books in it, and then put the eggs back in, on top of the books.

Having saved the eggs, and that boy’s day, the librarian went on to help the next customer.

I was entranced.

There, in one small interaction, is the reason why we need libraries. Books to read, care and life lessons dispensed.

And now, I’d better return those overdue books


Could you ever write something in a library book?

How Covid made libraries nicer

Main picture: Suad Kamardeen, Unsplash

How to reach me

Contact me if you would like to chat about how I can help with all your communication needs (writing, editing, coaching and training, social media).

I write a post every week, some about my professional life and work, and some about broader issues. You can get either of those, or both, in your email, by subscribing here.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.