Sunday, 10 June 2012

Library Rhyme Time Is Just The Ticket


In the space of a few years I’ve gone from being a Fifty Quid Bloke to a Freebie Sing-along Dad.

To explain, FQB was a phenomenon that had its peak during the early Noughties boom, particularly when every town had a galactic-sized branch of Borders and a Starbucks concession. Inverness, City of the Dream Ring, was such a place.

Chaps of a certain vintage could be relied upon to mooch around Borders, HMV, etc, usually on a Saturday afternoon, and blow £50 on a wee stack of CDs, DVDs, PS games and/or books. And then probably go and blow a further tenner on a Venti triple shot something or other with cream and sprinkles at a coffee chain so they could sit and gently peel off price stickers from their newly acquired material possessions.

Eurgh. Makes me queasy just thinking back.

In stark contrast I spent a recent Saturday afternoon at our local library where they do a RhymeTime session, consisting of songs and stories aided by soft toys and a sparkly, stretchy blanket. It was great fun - at least TWMBO and the other kiddies enjoyed themselves. I found the whole thing so soothing I almost nodded off during the fifth verse of The Wheels On The Bus.

We’ll certainly be going back. And I think it won’t just be Toddler taking books out next time. The Honest Toun Library isn’t exactly big nor is it an inspirational building (more concrete prefab than Carnegie foundation) but the staff are really friendly and according to Wife-features who already has and uses a ticket if the book you want isn’t on the small number of shelves they can order it in for you.

I used to be a bookseller so I’m wary of advocating libraries as the solution to our need to read but increasingly I’m leaning towards that. I recall an excellent TED Talk from a boffin who asked the audience to put up their hand if they had a power drill at home. Almost everyone put their hand up. Asked if they’d used it within the last two years only a couple of hands remained up. This starkly illustrated how pointless the human desire for material possessions can be.

I once asked a neighbour if I could borrow their lawnmower to tackle the drying green we shared only to be told I should by my own. Thankfully I found another neighbour who had no problem loaning me theirs, indeed pointing out they were happy for it to be used as they only dragged it out of the shed for twenty minutes four times a year. A loan of a Flymo isn’t quite the same scale as the Northern Counties Agricultural Machinery Ring but it’s a principle that I think we could see more of as people watch their pennies and consider consumption of resources.

Which takes me back to my Fifty Quid days. If anyone wants a loan of a Johnny Cash back catalogue or a Yes, Minister box set…

1 comment:

  1. Green-dad,
    1. I'd love to borrow "Yes, Minister" sometime - next time we meet perhaps.
    2. Our library van allows us to reserve books from the wider library system and have them picked up at the library van - i.e. the size of your immediate library "not exactly big" doesn't matter too much if you know what book you want.

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