It’s come to pass that this will be the final entry on the Darlington library page and I’d like to make my final piece all about the places a library will take a person.
I have worked here at the library for more than a decade and in this time have met some wonderful people and escaped on some fantastic adventures through my love of books. It has been amazing to meet lots of like minded customers and talk to each other about what exciting books we’ve read lately and I have been glad to be part of the library story (no pun intended!)
Throughout the years I have seen much change to the service, but one thing remains our library team is like a family. We help people from all walks of life in many different situations and in order for our work to continue it is so important to keep promoting the wonderful service through an ever changing new digital age. I will miss welcoming children into story club on a Saturday morning and the happiest look on a child’s face as they receive their very own shiny library card in their hand when they join. I’ll remember organizing sensory sessions for babies with lots of glitter, shaving foam and general chaos but seeing parents and babies make the most wonderful memories. I will always remember every word of the songs sung during rhyme time and miss seeing how big the children have grown when they come in to borrow books through the years.
I have always loved the fact that when you set foot in the library your horizons can expand, you can learn something new, find a new job, research a new hobby or discover a new author you’d never found before. The possibilities of a library are endless and I know going forward I will miss my unique job very much but sometimes one learns and expands and has to travel onwards onto new adventures in their own life just like in stories. The blog has helped me navigate through very different times, through a global pandemic and I have been proud to serve the public of Darlington during this unique period of history. I will as I move onto pastures new hope that Darlington continue showing their love of reading and support our lovely library who stands firm after all these years.
I attach a poem I submitted to Creative Darlington for a competition in pre-covid times. Every word still rings true and always will.
Our crown in crown street…
Upon some land where a mill once stood, where a local man left in his will the promise of a free library to its people, our majestic lady resides.
Her ornate stonework is envied, she dominates the street with her radiating presence, but emits a warmth and kindness in her shiny window eyes. She welcomes all inside. Since 1885 she has given her service to the people of Darlington, provided a place to work, to read, to create, to explore her shelves. How many people have been inspired by her, have found comfort, solitude, knowledge….
The weatherworn dovecot is gazed at by small children waiting for their mum to come out of the shop nearby, what secrets does she hide? What sights has she seen? What changes has she been part of?
Inside the depths, through dark corridors amidst shelves swept from dust, with pride, her faithful servants scurry to bring new generations stories of old, holding capture her town’s history with wonder and astonishment, so one day those who still visit her may see what joy she brought. Everyone who has been hypnotized by her beauty have left their mark here somehow, a painting, a novel, a poem, some Victorian cursive handwriting on yellowed paper, a bookmark found in pages. The unmistakable scent of history ( that only a library somehow conveys, old papers, a little musty but uncapturable anywhere else)
The pages of a book are happily discovered within these walls, the companionship of others, the enchantment of escaping from the outside to new intriguing lands and places. To finding new experiences and widening horizons, tell me who can put a price on this?
Our jewel in the crown she is. Our lady, our library.