Continuing on the theme from the last blog, I want to highlight a place where readers in the UK can enjoy unlimited free books–at least for the time being. Public libraries have books for all ages and tastes, whether you want to read for fun, for research, or to learn more about the area where you live. You can read them on site or take them home. If you can't find what you want, the librarian will help you, and if they don't have the title you want in their catalogue, for a small fee they can order if from a library that does. You don't even have to take your books back to the same library, and you can renew them online if you'd like to keep them a little longer. Some areas enjoy the services of a mobile library, so anyone who struggles to get out can still enjoy a good read.
    There's so much more to libraries these days too. They are great places to find out about what's happening in your area, for parents and toddlers to meet each other and enjoy stories, to listen to talks and meet authors, and all in an environment that's safe and welcomes people from all walks of life, thus encouraging people who might otherwise be introvert couch potatoes to get out regularly and meet people.
    Sadly, in many places, public libraries are now under threat. Northamptonshire County Council is proposing either to try to persuade volunteers to run all but eight of them, or to close all but these eight completely. It intends scrapping mobile libraries altogether. Maybe the powers that be (who saw fit to spend around £55 million on new offices that they no longer have the staff to fill) believe that libraries are a luxury, or that they won't be missed. They're wrong!