When the Valentine’s cards are handed out on February 14th each year, most people are celebrating love. With a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers, romantic relationships are marked with generous gestures, gifts and pledges of undying love.
For those of us who may not be in a romantic relationship, this can be cringe worthy at best, or emotionally painful at worst.
Thankfully, Valentine’s Day has been redeemed for all book lovers, because February 14 is also Library Lovers’ Day. If you don’t have anyone to send a card to, send one to your favourite librarian. If you have a spare bunch of flowers or a box brimming with chocolates, library staff are well deserving of these gifts, as they keep the books in orderly rows and assist their clients to find just the title they need.
When relationships come and go, the library will always be there for you (except on Public Holidays, but even librarians deserve a break sometimes.)
When I moved to Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait, I wasn’t even sure there would be a library. Torres Shire Council runs a lovely little library, and it is connected to the rural library network in Queensland, so if books are not available here, I can reserve them and they get shipped to Thursday Island at no further cost. Now that’s service.
Here is a photo of myself and my awesome librarian, Aunty Mavis. I always leave the library with a smile and a bag full of books.
According to the National Today website, Library Lovers Day was established by the State Library of New South Wales in 2006. It continues to thrive with many libraries and independent bookshops holding special events to mark the occasion.
The other amazing thing about libraries is that they support Australian authors. Not only do they purchase books, but the authors receive an annual PLR payment (PLR stands for Public Lending Rights) as compensation for the sales they lose because the public can access their books for free through the library system.
So, go to the library, borrow lots of books and thank the librarians in your life for all they do. Do this as often as you can, but especially on Library Lovers Day.