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The place to be

October 30, 2016

Since having a baby I’ve discovered a whole new set of uses for public libraries. Of course there is borrowing books for bub and attending rhyme times. But less obviously, and sometimes more importantly for my parental sanity, I’ve discovered that out and about with a baby or toddler a library is the perfect place to stop for a rest, a toilet/nappy break, a feed, or to allow bub to stretch his legs for a bit after a long stint in the stroller. Now our local library is one of my son’s favourite places. He toddles around selecting board books, making friends with other children, attempting to climb the furniture (as I attempt to stop him), and tempting staff into games of peek-a-boo as they work amongst the shelves.

My feelings about returning to work next week are mixed. I’m nervous about leaving my son in the care of others, and I’m not looking forward to having less time as a family. But I love my job and I’m glad to be returning to work that supports an important community asset. Where else can you sit in the warm/dry/shade and breastfeed, change a nappy, have a chat, let your toddler take a toddle, browse some books and choose some to take home and not have to spend a thing? How many other free, indoor spaces are there where you can just be?

That is one of the best things the public library offers, and something often forgotten or undervalued. Yes, you can visit the library for books or information, to use a computer or attend an event. But you can also just visit and be. Public libraries: the place to be!


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