I love libraries! Having been a student for 8 years, I've spent a lot of time in libraries. I whiled away hours in the British Library when I was working on my PhD. When I was at Oxford I loved going to the Radcliffe Camera or the Upper Reading rooms of the Bodleian library and looking out over the dreaming spires, and to the beautiful Taylor Institution library where I sat up in the gallery looking over St Giles. My college library was right next to my room and accessible 24 hours a day - handy for those 2am visits to finish an essay at the last minute! It had lovely book lined booths with an individual desk in each. I'd like to think it was the beautiful surroundings which made it easier for me to work, but actually the fact of being trapped in a library with someone else sitting opposite probably had more to do with it. The best and most productive trips to the library were those when I went with my friend, and we mutually guilt-tripped each other into working, despite each of us being in on the secret!
Now, as a mother of two young children I'm rediscovering local libraries, which I haven't really used since I was a child. My children really love a trip to the library. It easily takes a whole afternoon as they like to settle in for a long reading session on the beanbags, and the walk there and back takes an hour. We always take our bookstart book bag to fill with books, and my daughter always insists that we get our full allowance of 10 books, so it always comes back full to bursting! At the moment, Percy the Park Keeper and Paddington Bear are firm favourites with both the children. My daughter also has a tendency to pounce on any 'scary' stories like Where the Wild Things Are or The Gruffalo in spite of the fact they keep her awake at night!
Here's what I've got on loan at the moment (you may notice a slight crafting bias to my choices!):
Denyse Schmidt's Quilts
Sew What! Skirts
The Complete Practical Encyclopaedia of Needlecrafts
Apples for Jam
I'm really enjoying flicking through these when I get a spare five minutes and getting ideas for things to make.
I always have some sewing or cook book on request from other libraries in the county (currently waiting for The Gentle Art of Domesticity). I have to say, having access to a legal deposit library would come in handy now, in my search for all the crafting books I'm hankering after having seen them on other crafting blogs!