|Mobile Library in Wiltshire Village|
Last week we stayed with a cousin found through Genes Reunited several years ago. He lives in a pretty little village near Longleat Estate. Although it is not far from Warminster the peaceful village, whose residents appear to be mostly senior citizens, is a world away. The visit of the mobile library provides these residents with a vital link to the outside world through loans of books and videos. We tagged along with our cousin as he went to change his books, while there we met some of the villagers and the librarian. I noted that, as well as providing resources, the library visit fulfils a social role by providing a place where villagers can meet and chat informally.
|Friendly Wiltshire Librarian|
The last time I was in a mobile library van was in the early 70s when, as Children's Librarian for the Randwick Library service I was responsible for the provision and organisation of library resources for young people. I worked from the main library at Maroubra Junction.
My first connection with mobile libraries was in the late 1950s when, with my parents, I visited the Randwick Library Mobile Service that parked outside the Maroubra Junction Post Office each Saturday morning. Although they had little formal education my parents instilled in me a love of reading, I fondly remember our Saturday morning library visits to that crowded van where the librarian set up a card table on the footpath to record the loans and returns. I was introduced to the world of Noel Streatfeild and Ballet Shoes, Nancy Drew, Sue Barton, Trixie Belden and other characters from England and the US. One of my favourites was Dancing Star by Gladys Malvern, the story of the ballerina, Anna Pavlova.
I guess that my library habit and future career choice was strongly influenced by my early visits to the mobile library at Maroubra that, just like the Wiltshire service, provided me with a link to the outside world through the wonderful world of books.