Jackie Feelsted and Kevin Coombes

Like many other days in our calendar, Valentine’s Day can evoke a range of emotions among people. Some love it, enjoying the opportunity to celebrate romantic or friendship love. For others, Valentine’s Day may evoke feelings of sadness, perhaps loss, or even loneliness. Whatever your perspective, I’ve no doubt you’ll want to join me in celebrating Library Lovers’ Day on 14 February 2019. After all, what could be better than declaring our appreciation for libraries and all they have to offer?

If you’re wondering, Library Lovers’ Day is an annual celebration of the value and importance of libraries in our community. This year the theme is ‘library love stories’. And perhaps, like me, you have some great stories to share.

My favourite personal stories about libraries however, are my simplest ones. The times I get to spend with people I care about, learn something, or mix with people old and new.

Most recently, I spent wonderful time at the library with my grandchildren. I had a huge amount of fun, and so did the grandkids.

That’s the thing about libraries. To quote my friend Chris Buckingham, CEO of Casey Cardina Libraries: ‘public libraries are welcoming, safe places where people of all ages and stages can gather, learn and grow.’

If I had to write an ode to libraries, it would be a list of my favourite things:

  • They are meeting places for family, friends, colleagues and communities.
  • You can have library books delivered to you or make use of a mobile library.
  • You can borrow audio books and large print books – no more small print headaches.
  • Lots of libraries have free internet access and classes on how to use technology.
  • Art and culture is embedded in libraries. Not just through books – but through music, video, artworks, even performance.

So that’s me.

If you had to write one, what would your ode to libraries contain? What do you love about libraries?

I’d enjoy hearing from you. Share your stories on my Facebook page and on the Libraries Change Lives website.

Libraries really do change lives each and every day, in so many different ways.

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Gerard Mansour

Gerard Mansour

Commissioner for Senior Victorians

Gerard Mansour is a passionate advocate for the rights and needs of older Victorians, with more than 25 years’ experience working in the aged and wider community service sectors. He has contributed significantly to policy development and implementation for myriad services assisting senior Victorians.