Glasgow author Shari Low has written a love letter to the library of her childhood, Renfrew Library, as part of Book Week Scotland.
In her heartwarming and funny ode to the library, Shari praises the peace and quiet the library offered as well as the vast range of books she could borrow, describing how “At five years old, I was in awe of the surroundings. The quiet. The calm. The rows and rows of books filled with wonderful pictures and words I couldn’t yet read.”
The letter follows her changing tastes in books as she grows up. Shari says that as a child “Entire summers were spent drinking lashings of lemonade with the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, kids who today might spend their time sitting inside playing an Xbox rather than searching for a kidnappers, thieves and smugglers.”
As well as crediting the library for inspiring her to become a writer, Shari also emphasises the many other benefits a library can provide, saying “Libraries are no longer just temples to the written word. Now, they have IT facilities, mother’s groups, children’s reading sessions and author events.
“They are the hub of the community. Their importance cannot be underestimated – because even in a society where everything is available at the click of a mouse, a library is more than just a building – it’s the entry point to tens of thousands of other worlds just waiting to be explored.”
Shari’s letter is a great example of the ways libraries can influence people throughout their lives. Residents who feel inspired by Shari’s letter and want to thank their local library for providing inspiration or a quiet place to escape can write their own love letter.
Book Week Scotland’s letter template can be downloaded from www.scottishbooktrust.com. Residents can also pen their letter and send it straight to their local library.
For more information on Book Week Scotland events, visit www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk.