I love libraries. Anyone who even vaguely has an interest in reading must surely share that feeling. They are places not only of escapism but of education and learning and also peace and quiet, a break from the noise and clamour of modern life.
And yet despite this libraries are almost constantly under threat; clearly it takes a great deal of money to run libraries and in these times savings must be found. But closing libraries should be out of the question. I would rather drive on an unmaintained road than miss my weekly trip to the library.
I got my sons into the library habit as soon as they could read (or even a little before) introducing them to a world of books which has stayed with them to this day. They get to explore new types of books and find new things to delight them - and if they don't like a book then can just take it back no problem.
Once of the main delights for me of the library is finding new authors and books, I have found so many authors by seeing a book at the library and deciding to give it a go - Joe Abercrombie, Matthew Reilly, Alan Campbell, Stephen Hunt - the list goes on. There have been books that I have fought my way through with grim determination and less enjoyment and books I have given up on completely (these are very rare). But each is valuable and all are worth it.
In these days of computers and electronic books it seems that the library is considered somewhere 'old fashioned'. But although you can pretty much get any book you want delivered electronically there is no pleasure in the act of browsing, no picking a book that you hadn't previously been aware of, no 'judging a book by its cover'.
I love my library (I even smile when I pay my fines - they are after all my fault and are a small price to have all that weight of words available). The world would be a much poorer place without them.