Reading expands the mind

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Island School Libraries and Education (ISLE) last spring launched Love Your Library, a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the range of activities and services offered by school libraries. In the last in a series of columns, Mary Cousins, librarian-in-charge at the Family Library, offers a few closing thoughts

IT’S often been said, and very much part of any educationalist’s view, that a library should be at the heart of any good school.

And that the act of reading – regardless of subject or literary merit – expands the minds and character of any young person in a positive and meaningful way.

With this in mind it’s a good time to celebrate the Department of Education and Children’s support for the libraries in our schools, the Isle of Man College and the Family Library.

Perhaps it is also a good time to pat the backs of librarians all over the island who provide so much information, reading enjoyment, internet access, community support and myriad events and activities for all ages to take part in and enjoy.

Librarians in the island are used to helping each other and working together.

It’s very much part and parcel of a librarian’s ethos to want to provide information and support to others and we hope that ISLE has provided a small taste of some of the collaborative work we have all achieved over the past 12 months.

In these straitened times, we hope that the community continues to use libraries in schools and in the public domain.

It’s worrying to see so many libraries closing in the UK, exactly at a time when people need easy access to the many facilities libraries can offer and support that staff can provide.

Libraries are part of the social glue that can hold a community together.

They provide service for babies, children, young people, adults and – through the Mobile Library – the elderly and housebound.

If you haven’t visited a library for a long while, don’t be shy!

You might be surprised how much they have changed and what they have to offer.

If you join a library in the island, for free or a small sum, you can access huge amounts of reading or listening material and you are always welcome to just drop in and take a look around.

Over the coming months, libraries will continue to provide amazing selections of new books and audio books for all ages.

They will also be organising many events, activities and competitions.

Look on the library websites for more information.

This is the last ISLE column and we wish you good reading and listening in the future and hope we’ve provided an insight into the ‘hidden’ work of the school librarian and all the work we do to ensure students learn, read and have a really great time in the process.

Happy reading and don’t forget to Love Your Library!

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