A 10-year-old girl from Basingstoke, UK, withdrew her 1,700th book this week!
Olivia Brazier attends Chineham Library regularly, and very recently borrowed her 1,700th library book just weeks after the county council announced dramatic cuts to services which have caused two of the three libraries in her town to be closed.
Unfortunately, Chineham and South Ham libraries are on a list of ten services earmarked by the local council for potential closure.
Olivia, who uses the library every week, says that without that regular access she would never have been able to read so many books.
“I feel very sad,” she said of the threat about the closure “because all the books we read I’ve got from the library, and I’ve got quite a big range.”
Her mum, Carley, explained how they joined the library when Olivia was a few weeks old, and began by reading books to her. Ever since, they’ve visited every week and borrow a stack of books each time. An impossible task without a library, her mum has said.
“She would never have read the range of books she’s read.” Olivia’s mum said, “If you have to pay for it you think you, ‘oh, actually I’m not sure if I’ll like that,’ but at the library you think, ‘I’ll get that and see what I think.’”
Chineham library is ranked 45th out of the county’s 48 facilities, according to the HCC, the local council.
The Library Service Consultation document also shows that “fewer people are physically accessing library buildings and more people are now choosing to use digital library resources”.
But that’s categorically not true for Olivia’s family.
“We’ve used the library so much,” said Carley. “I remember when my daughters were both little kids, it really helps when you’re a mum. It’s somewhere you can go and its somewhere they can read and look at books, and it gets you out of the house. And I think that’s true for a lot of people.”