So something really exciting had happened! Probably not exciting to anyone but me, but still…
I’ve always been a member of the ‘swap’ libraries in South Australia – a group of libraries that allow you to borrow from any one of the libraries in the group. This meant, if my local library didn’t have a book, I could potentially get it from another library. This was always great, but when I was looking for books of on the list of 1001 Children’s Books That You Must Read Before You Grow Up, there were plenty of gaps.
As of a couple of weeks ago, however, ‘swap’ libraries, along with a whole lot of other South Australian libraries, joined forced to form the ‘one card’ network – one, giant super library. Basically, I can now borrow and order books from practically every books in the state. I know, exciting!
Now, when looking through the online catalogue, I can see books from tiny little country libraries. And I have decided that I love these little country libraries. The ‘swap’ libraries have a great range of more recently published books, but these little country libraries have more obscure titles, many of while are part of the 1001 Children’s Books I am endeavouring to read. I spent a nerdy couple of hours yesterday just plugging in title after title from my book of 1001 Children’s Books, and was delighted that about half of the books I searched came up as available, either in one of my local libraries or to order from Naracoorte, or Millicent, or Willunga (for those of you that are not from South Australia, these are little towns spread across the state. Naracoorte in particular made me smile – this is the town where my grandparents lived and my mum grew up). I also discovered that Port Adelaide library must have an awesome range of children’s books, and am considering a trip down South just to browse the shelves.
Ben, my partner, who studies economics and law, considered the economic standpoint of all these libraries borrowing books from one another, and whether it would be financially beneficial, but I don’t really care. I think this is great for libraries in the area – you are much more likely to borrow books more regularly if you are ten times more likely to actually get the exact books you are after, even if you have to wait a few days to a week for them.
So now, my choosing books by lucky dip will be much easier, and more more diverse, since when I type a book’s title into my library catalogue, it will probably come up as available. My current lucky dips on order are ‘A Traveller in Time’ by Alison Utterly, ‘The Hundred Dresses’ by Eleanor Estes, ‘Stuart Little’ by E.B. White and ‘The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily’ by Dino Buzzati. Looking forward to that mixed bag!