Libraries rock !

They do they do indeed.
Tis not just the books you know.
They are pretty wonderful, ah the earliest form escapism, better then drugs,
No hangovers, socially acceptable; infact encouraged.
Lost of books that you can get a lend of and curl up and read and disappear into another world, into someone else’s head and see things differently for a while.
Trust me it works, go try read Clive Baker or Poppy Z Brite for a shock to your senses.

Growing up the eldest of 5 kids the library a mere 15 mins walk away become a sanctuary. It was quiet there. There were no screaming, squabbling, crying kids.
ESP if you got your book and snuck to sit at the table just inside the door to the adult library which was always closed and kept out the noise.

I could sit quietly and not be disturbed to mind anyone or force out to ‘play’.
This tactic never really interrupted my reading. I always had more then one book and
If eviction from the sitting room was pending there was already another book placed behind the curtain of the sitting room out of sight but with in reach from the outside of the sitting room window.

Ah yes libraries. The Blanchardstown library is a lot bigger then the on in finglas; where I grew up, yes part of me feel like I spent enough time there to consider it one of the places I grew up in. Lots and lots and lots of books and comfy seats and even more books. There are also computers.

The children’s section has many parts.

There is the nice desk where the lady sits and she has tubs of crayons and cool picture to be coloured in and if you ask she will let you pick a jigsaw but you can’t have it unless you promise to count the piece with her when you give it back.

There are nice kids sized table and chairs that grown up look silly in when they try to sit with you. Designed so that every Mammy’s bum look big when they sit on them
( even the castleknock unislim gold members Mammys 😛 )

There is a big notice board where you can stick up your picture if you don’t want to take it home as the fridge in the kitchen is utterly camouflaged or you want your glorious statement that the bear in the big blue house who is usually orange not blue can be purple like the otters Pip and Pop for a change.

There is the story circle where stories get read at appointed times or if a Mammy (or daddy or who ever is so foolish or brave) starts to read aloud they get an audience of little listening ears. This is also the sing a long circle but again only at appointed times.
Just because the last time you were there you got to do ‘If you are happy and you know it’ at the top of you little lungs does not mean you race to do a repeat performance every time you enter the library.

There are lots of funny wooden boxes painted different colours with large wooden animals on them, and they are created for holding all those kids stories books that are
Too tall, too wide, too floppy or strange to stay on a plain old book shelf.
An ordinary bookshelf could not constrain or restrain such books.
Each a treasure in it’s own right to be discovered and explored.

There is the Lego and stickle brick corner but really that is only for babies and little boys that have been fed too much sugar and both types end up only throwing the blocks and bricks.

Then there is ‘older’ section of the children’s library where are plain old book shelves but they are lower down hen the grown ups books; and the grown ups books are not as colorful. Here are books that are so good that even grow ups sometimes come to read them. This is the quieter part of the children’s library there are still games but at least
For the most part the chess pieces don’t get flung about the place.

There are chess lessons too, on Monday’s for an hour.

This my two off spring discovered having become bored of all the other delights
And came, running back to report what they had found among the big shelves and imploring to be allowed stay and play. Stay they did for an hour while a kindly gentleman
Explained the pieces and the rules. They sat and took it in and hardly fidgeted at all.
At seven you can sit and not fidget, harder when you are five and have learn the art of the theatrical wink and hand wriggles. I have informed they ‘have’ to go back next Monday.

It was great to see them happy there and it gave me a chance to have a look at what I guess it the kids self help section. There are lots of book on everything from a pet dying, moving house, a new baby to ‘What is splitting up? ‘ . Nice to know that those type of
books are there for parent to read with their kids and work through issues and get the parent to see things from a child’s point of view and let the child know it is not their fault
And that this has happened to other kids.

I also got to have a look at the notice board while the serious seven year old was explaining to the frivolous five year old that you don’t have to make a horse noise while moving your knight on the board, which causes her to pick up the piece and wonder if the knight fell off. Funny how time still flies when your in a library, where did those
Two hours go to. I reckon all libraries are magical even ones with out librarians that look like orange primates.
Ok one of them apparently is hairy enough to be a bear but that just ment we got to have another chat about personal remarks on the way home in-between playing I spy and wondering if they had books about volcanoes and why we don’t have any.

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