I get a very handy little newsletter from the National Literacy Trust, with breaking news on all sorts of stuff to do with books and reading, and I thought I'd share this tit-bit about libraries with you:
Did you know that, from now on, we can borrow books from any UK public library, regardless of where we live?
All we need to do is show our normal library card, or even just proof of address, to access any library in the country. Great for your holiday reading (unless you're sunning yourself in the Maldives or somewhere, in which case, you're already far too fortunate to deserve any more good news).
Wonderful though book-lending is, libraries are about so much more. They are a community space: often the only free, safe environment available to local people. They provide storytelling for young families; a place for the elderly to read the paper, maybe learn how to access a computer and chat to someone about the books they've read (or just the weather!). They are a centre for disseminating local information; a creative environment for inspiring school groups; a quiet place for studying, or doing homework; and sometimes they are just a positive, friendly place for people to hang out.
If you're in the Library Service, I'd be interested to hear your take on things...