Before I start today's blog topic I have a few updates:
Firstly, a huge apology to David Powers King. It seems our mission to explore what makes great science fiction came to a premature end at the weekend. For those expecting to find his guest post here on October 5th, he is actually scheduled to appear in my new Speculative Fiction Writer weekly post on December 5th. Unfortunately David thought it was October 5th, and to make matters worse I did not check my email until yesterday. Sorry, David.
Secondly, I need to correct a misconception in my 'want to know a secret?' blog post. Quite a few people mistook the image I posted as my short story collection cover. It was actually Ida Jansson's designer logo. I will be doing a cover reveal for each of my two short story collections at a later date.
Thirdly, to make it easier for my writing friends to find me on NaNoWriMo, I have set up a new account in the name of EllieMGarratt.
Now on with today's post topic . . .
In Exmouth we have a small but busy library. There are three rooms - adult, children, and reference. The reference room used to contain individual desks, and I would often go there to write. However, a few years back the desks were put together to make one large table. Unfortunately, this now means you can have a person sat either side of you. When I say sat next to you, I mean sandwiched. I don't go there to write anymore because of this reason, which is a shame.
Given we are the largest town in Devon I have always believed our library should be bigger. But, like most things, everything depends on the local council's budget, and there isn't one for building a new library.
Last week I visited Paignton's library for the first time, whilst staying with Mr. M. This is a new development and one that I think sets the model for ensuring libraries continue to be a part of our community for the foreseeable future.
You see it isn't just a library; it incorporates the library, Torbay Council Connections, Devon and Cornwall Police Neighbourbood Policing Team, and Adult and Community Learning. It doesn't stop there, though. There is a coffee shop and toilets.
It is a large building, with the mostly glass frontage and inner walls ensuring it is light and airy. The library itself is split over two levels. Level one is fiction, children's books, computer access, and contains numerous seating areas. Level two, which has an open central area overlooking level one, is non-fiction. It also contains a quiet room, more computer access, and a large learning centre. Scattered around level two are alcoves with comfy chairs and tables.
My immediate reaction when walking around the library was, 'Why can't we have something like this in Exmouth?'. My second was, 'This is where I will be coming whenever I am in Paignton and Mr. M is working'. There is something about going to the library that focuses my mind on the task of writing, and if that area comes with helpful amenities, then it has to a winner in my mind.
Do you have a library like this where you live? Do you go there to write? How do you feel about libraries diversifying in this way to survive?