The Libraries of Our Lives Project

 

Let’s face it: libraries, in the form we know them, are close to obsolescence.

With increasing digitization and availability of  information online to a net savvy public, as well as the desire to use more eco-friendly media, books on paper will soon become unviable. So will the physical  libraries that hold them. The smaller ones will be shut down, and the better funded ones will take on digital avatars with new and  expanded missions. We might very well be the last generations to walk library aisles in search of the elusive book by our favorite author, to play peek a boo with the latest crush behind the shelves, or to take our children on their first visit to the magical book palace. Generation 2020 might find today’s libraries  a historic curiosity, along with typewriters and stick shift cars, just like the ancient libraries  with stone tablets and papyrus scrolls. 

The Libraries of Our Lives Project aims to preserve the memories of  libraries in different lands, in the voices of the people who loved them.

Check out the weblog of all stories that are already included by clicking on The Libraries on the top menu bar. You’ll encounter gems such the ones below, the most popular ones seen on the sidebar, and  many more!

La piazaa principale di Sanvito al Tagilamento

Library of San Vito, Italy

Anna Centenary Library

Anna Centenary Library, India

Painswick

Painswick Library, UK

Oakvill Library

Oakville Library, Canada

 

 

 

 

Do you find in here a library that was special to you? If so, please make the memory richer by telling your story about it as a comment, right below it. (Note: You do not have to be a WordPress member to post a comment, you need just an email address.) The blog owner may promote your comment to the main article, if you bring in a distinctive point of view.

Don’t see your favorite libraries? No problem. You can add them to the project. It doesn’t matter whether it was a one room village reading center or a school library or an august, centuries-old public library,  we welcome all entries. Maybe you know children who’d like to participate, so that they remember the heritage of this beloved institution.

Your library and your story are important to us. A story can be a short paragraph  about the library and why you like it, or an anecdote,  preferably with a photograph of the library. But if you don’t have a photo’  handy, we will find one for you. What we are really looking for is your voice, your narrative.

There are two ways  in which you can share  a library with the project:

1.  The Easy Way:  You can simply email the story and photograph to us, to the address given in the Contact Us page. We will add the story using a generic Id. Your preferred screen name will be displayed in the post, as the author. This is what most people have done so far.

2. The Blogger Way: If you already have a WordPress account, share your WordPress account name with us via email to the address in the Contact Us page. We will add you as a contributor/author within 24 hours. You will then be able to log in and tell your story yourself, include links to your other blogs etc.

We would love to showcase  the profile and a photograph  of our writers in The Authors page. So, please feel free to send a few lines, about  yourself and why you like the project to us, along with the write up.

We are very excited about this project and hope that it gains popularity across continents and helps to preserve the stories of many people and their favorite libraries.  

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20 comments on “The Libraries of Our Lives Project

  1. Renny Saldanha (via email) comments:
    I was introduced to the world of books at the British Council Library in Bahrain. My memories of the place are faint – I must have been 3 or 4, but I remember being enamored by the glossy hard bounds. My first book was an illustrated joke book with silly riddles and knock knock jokes, but it sure got me hooked to reading. My high school library was a small room adjacent to the science lab with a bunch of comics, and the likes of Famous Five and Nancy Drew. My favorite memories of the place was being able to sneakily read Tinkle during class hours, and camping in the library around quiz competitions. Since the collection here was small and my reading appetite increasingly getting to the other end of the scale, I found a small public library in the neighborhood. Mostly fictional novels, magazines and classics in Kannada, this library was set in a lush green garden which also happened to be the garden of an Avuryedic clinic. The reading room was an ancient tiled roof house – an idyllic setting for peaceful reading. At all the colleges I went to afterward, the institutional library would definitely be my favorite haunt. Slowly, over the years my reading pace declined. My consumption became mostly digital and interrupted, a phenomenon many of you may have experienced at some point in your lives.
    Recently, a few of my friends pitched the idea of starting a book club, until which I’d procrastinated a visit to the Jersey City public library even though it was only minutes away from where I lived. The Jersey City Public Library opened in the early 1900s and has grown to serve all of Jersey City with 9 branches and a bookmobile that tours around the city for book pickups and dropoffs. The library is actively engaged in community building through education and career support. I have heard they even lend neck ties for job seekers who can’t afford to buy one – aptly called the ‘Tiebrary’. They also host cultural events for both kids and adults covering arts and crafts, music, history and film festivals as part of its community awareness endeavors. The catalogs are also available online for users to browse and the library also provides free digital resources like e-books and audio books.
    On my first visit, my love for books was restored. Like a child in a candy store, I could not stop myself from going crazy. I had to show some restraint, so I borrowed only 4 books. It’s been a just few visits but I think it will come to a point where if I go missing, you will know where to find me.​

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Renny, for taking us on a tour of the libraries you loved at different stages of life. Pleasure to read your article.
      -Rekha for Libraries of our Lives.

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  2. I am nostalgic of Trivandrum Public library which is housed in a Victorian architecture uniquely created many centuries ago. I shall subsequently post its picture or one can Google it.Reading on an Android or laptop can never substitute reader in an atmosphere as in one mentioned above. If former is a short measures to pass time while in an air port lounge or on flights the reading room environment provide an atmosphere of SCHOLARSHIP. Further it provides the companion cultures where like minded scholars working on books. If former is pain letter is pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sir for noticing and liking our project. The public library in Trivandrum remains a favorite among our readers and writers. I hope you have seen the post about it. (Just click of the picture of the public library on the right side). We would be happy to include your recollections about the library too. Do send them on to librariesofourlives@gmail.com

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  3. Thank you so much Rajeev. It is only through the kindness of book and library lovers like you that the project can be kept alive. I will write about the 2 libraries in this county.. both are nice, as well as a few odd ones I saw recently- bookbinders library and a hotel that has a library theme. But you should too… About CDS library and about Just Books. and others.

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  4. Hi Suman,, What a nice write up. Can you please send the pictures to librariesofourlives@gmail.com. I will package them and this writeup into a separate entry for Stadsbiblioteket. If you would like to share your last name and some details, please do so. If not that is fine as well.
    Thanks,
    Rekha for Libraries Of our Lives Project

    Like

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