A letter to my library

The value of our libraries is incalculable, they make a difference to individuals in our community every single day and will be there for each one of us, no matter our circumstance.

Each library in Kirklees offers a bespoke service to their community. In this series of letters we look to say thank you to all of the staff and volunteers that make up our library teams, and to demonstrate a fraction of the value that their work creates.

Each letter is anonymous to protect the identity of the individuals who have shared their story.

Books as Therapy

Our second letter is from a young person who visited one of our libraries, they were looking for ways to tackle phone addiction and the problems that it accompanies:

“I came into the Library to speak to one of the library team about concerns I was having with my phone habits.

I was spending too much time on my phone, especially on social media and it was severely affecting aspects of my health, particularly my sleep. I had looked for help online and one of the suggestions was to take up a hobby such as reading.

I was looking for recommendations on books as I had always hated reading, I would not touch books and had never found a genre that appealed to me.

books as therapy

Before going to the library, I was spending an average of 10 to 11 hours a day on my phone. I struggled to stop checking my social media accounts, which didn’t help me at bed time, and I was going to sleep at around 2am.

I’m in college and had to be up at 6am, this lack of sleep was really affecting my concentration at college. Then when I would try to get coursework done, I would constantly be distracted by my phone.

They helped me to choose something suitable and I went away happy… I have continued to borrow books ever since.

Since my first visit to the library, I have noticed a massive difference. My phone time has reduced by half and I’m asleep by 11.00pm! I’ve got into the habit of reading for half an hour before bed which helps me wind down.

Also, getting enough sleep has had a positive impact on my levels of concentration. At college I feel more focused, refreshed and motivated. I used to call in sick sometimes when I was too tired to wake up, I don’t need to do that now.

phone

Before I would watch Netflix when I was on my way to and from college, but now I take a book with me. Not only am I getting a break from my phone, but reading has helped to increase my vocabulary too.

My friends and family have noticed the change in me too, they are so shocked to see me always reading a new book. It has made such a difference to my life!”

This library user found reading to be their saving grace but there are plenty of other options for residents in Kirklees. If you’re looking for a new way to wind down or want to create healthy habits, pop into your local library and see what they have on offer!

Many of our libraries have reading groups that meet in the week, if that’s something you’re interested in ask one of our library team.

In the meantime, here are a few activities to get involved in:

Lindley Library

Yoga: every Tuesday from 7:30-9pm

Creative Writing Group: the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2-4pm

Readers Group: Thursdays from 6-7pm

Knit & Natter: Thursdays from 6-7pm

Rawthorpe & Dalton Library

Knit & Natter: Tuesdays from 10:15am-12:15pm

Men Matters Group: Wednesdays from 1:30-3pm

Almondbury Library

Knit & Natter: Mondays every other week from 2-4pm

Dementia Hub: Tuesdays 10am-3pm

Reading Group: Thursdays 2-3pm

Sunday 9th February 1-3pm

Friends of Batley Library – Half-term crafts, suitable for ages 4+

Thursday 27th February 2pm

Friends of Birstall Library – Get creative and make decorative items from books!

If you’d like to find out about groups or events you can get involved with, contact your local library. Our friendly team will be happy to help and always love seeing new people.

Keep up to date

To keep up to date with the latest on libraries, follow Kirklees Libraries on social media and sign up to their mailing list:

Twitter: @KirkleesLibrary

Facebook: @KirkleesLibraries

Email sign-up: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKKIRKLEES/subscriber/new

Share your story 

If you have a story of your own that would like to share, let us know in the comments below, or tag @KirkleesCouncil on Twitter. Let’s talk libraries!

One comment

  • I used to use the mobile library but that was withdrawn and now I use the home library service. They used to come twice a month but its now once a month. Its usually Ian who comes and he is brilliant at choosing books he thinks I might like. I practically always do. He stays for a short chat. Important when you live alone and rarely go out. The library service is used and appreciated by all ages and one day I hope to visit the Art Gallery again.

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