By Leanne Goodall

Do you use it or is it just nostalgic? On a recent visit to the Open University Campus at Milton Keynes I was lucky enough to get a tour of the wonderful library. I found it incredibly exciting to be there and was in awe on all those amazing books that are packed with knowledge. Later, I was discussing some possible blog post ideas and someone suggested that I could write about how I use a library. Then it hit me, I don’t. I loved being in that library and so I began to wonder why on earth I don’t use one.

Did you visit libraries as a child? I did, quite regularly actually but as I got older I went less and less. To be honest I wasn’t a huge reader in general. I wasn’t too interested in getting new books to read and so an element of boredom began to creep in on my library visits. I always enjoyed the look of lots of lovely books and I love the smell and crispness of a nice new book. In fact, I often feel that buying a book can be a really nice gift to give people yet my own interest in actually reading them had declined massively.

What’s your favourite genre? I never liked that question because I never knew the answer. I hadn’t found a particular genre that had drawn me in and so I generally answered with the standard response of ‘I’m not a big reader’ despite this, there’s still something about books that is so nice.

libraryOne obvious answer for not using a library is the development of technology. Everyone knows that you can get the same content in numerous digital ways now and we don’t have to go to libraries to find things out.

My interest in books has gained momentum again since I began studying with the OU. Those books have a purpose to me. I want to read them to learn new things. Then following on from there, I become curious about the subjects I have learned and want to read more about them, but still thinking of visiting a library would not be my first thought.

Would I visit the OU library again? In an instant. When I stood in that room I felt that it was special. It housed the contents which have changed people’s lives, opened people’s minds and opened doors to their futures. I knew that almost every book in there could provide me with something new and interesting to learn. I wanted to pick up the books, have a glance and see what they were. I guess that, for me, the fact that these books all held content which could impact on so many people’s lives was exciting. The library on campus is pretty big and very impressive and I suppose that if my local library was like that one, I’d visit a lot more often!

I’d love to know what others think about libraries. Do you use a library and what does it mean to you?

Leanne is half way through a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University and enjoys writing as a freelancer with most of her work on the blog. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions on STOU here.

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