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My children were invited to the local library for a bit of book info, and to receive a book each. All children of a certain age living in this area had been invited to a little meeting in the library. Not many came. It was nice and I'm not sorry we came, but we did have to stay for a very long time for a very short 'show'. I was also annoyed by one of the locals. My children are quite outgoing and they were also the oldest children present. When my daughter, as she likes to do, walked over to this woman and her much younger daughter, and 'borrowed' a few of that little girls' things, her mother was clearly offended, not amused at all. What did she expect? My daughter is 16 months old. Both twins enjoyed playing in the library's children's room and used all the 'facilities' to the max. By that I mean that they pulled out piles of books and let them fall to the floor. :)

Here is my son considering which books to throw on the floor:

library

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Library

I was in town today for a meeting with the parents group. We went to a cafe and sat there talking for a while, until the babies began to get tired. It's always interesting to see how the other babies are growing. One of the boys - my daughter was the only girl present this time - was such a little charmer. I felt someone touch my arm and turned around and noticed that he was trying to get my attention. So sweet. :) Soon he began to turn his attention towards my daughter P and after a little while he was kissing her hand! Very gently too, unlike her dear brother who sometimes bites and scratches... The last time we met, S pushed a little girl down, lay down on top of her and pinched her cheek! This time one of the boys, who seems to like S a lot, pinched his cheek and S didn't cry. Apparently there's a 'manly' pinch between boys. :)

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Today we went into town to see about my children's christening. We wanted to get in early, both because the church people I had to get in touch with apparently only work before noon, and also because we were expecting a package to be delivered in the early afternoon. That package didn't arrive so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will come tomorrow instead. Anyway, bringing the twins along wasn't strictly necessary but it made it possible for us all to go together. On the other hand, especially when it's this hot, it's not really a good idea to bring the children. They tend to be out of sorts for a while after any visit to the town.

We're pretty much new in this little town and I thought I was familiar with most of it already. It's a very small town with only a few thousand people living in the central 'urban' area (fifteen thousand in the entire county). I used to think it's only made up of maybe five blocks, but I think I was wrong about that. We got a little lost looking for the church's offices (what's the word for that in English?) so we got to see a bit more of the town. I was sure there was no book shop and my mum has already told all her friends that 'there's an off-licence but not a book shop'. Clearly we were wrong, because we stumbled across a combined stationer's and book shop. We also found several cute, retro buildings making me feel as if I'd stumbled back in time, some fifty years or so. Everything was so cute and picturesque and very old-fashioned. I also only knew about one beauty parlour and one hairdresser/barber, but apparently there are at least two more, both specifically ladies' hairdressers. I'm not saying it's as important as a book shop (LOL), but it will come in handy. My hair has grown so long lately.

We also took the opportunity of visiting the library. My daughter, P, was fascinated with the books, a photo exhibition and an art exhibition that quite frankly wasn't all that interesting to me, but maybe I've become jaded over the years. This was P:s first art exhibition. I think S, my son, would have been just as interested, but he slept through most of the visit.

A nice older man came over and talked a little to P, when she was sitting on my lap. He was very good at judging her age, so I'm assuming he has grandchildren.

We had been hoping we'd be able to get some of the delicious Italian sorbets in the little park (during the winter season and when it's raining, the gelateria is in the station building). Unfortunately, the cafe in the park only opened a few minutes before we had to take the bus.
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I found this on The Perpetual Page Turner:

I posted this, about a similar topic a while back, but since i love my library, I'm always happy to blog about it again.

The main reason I love libraries, and the one in my little town, more than most, is that you can borrow e-books. This library, in a tiny town, that many people would see as a village, has the highest number of titles I know of. Stockholm and the other major cities may have more, but for a small town, I think this is exceptional. Where I lived before, they had far less, and I had even taken the precaution of getting a library card in a nearby town, just so I can borrow more books and have access to more titles. Neither of these bigger towns had nearly as many titles.

In general, though, I love the idea of being allowed to borrow books for free, regardless of format. There are other forms of media that you can borrow too, but I have to admit that I've never done that. Also, you can use the internet for free and take copies from reference books for a very fair price.

One thing I really enjoy is just being allowed to sit there, reading a book that I don't even need to borrow, I can just pick it up and read it and relax. Libraries are usually quiet.

In this small town, there isn't all that much culture available, so having a library and especially one that really works so hard to provide different aspects of culture is wonderful. They offer courses in genealogy, book groups etc.

Since I've only lived here since November I'm not completely sure if they offer the same services as the ones I'm used from before, but at least in many libraries, they offer free coffee and a book tip (mostly for retired people, but there's no rule that says you have to be over 65, anyone is welcome). Some libraries at least have 'language cafes' that help newly arrived refugees the chance to practice their Swedish.

Many libraries offer a series of talks on various subjects, usually historic ones. In the past I've enjoyed those a lot.

Something that's very typical for Sweden, I believe, is that we have several different societies that offer education for anyone. They often cooperate with the library not only in offering courses on various topics, but also talks like the ones I mention above.

Sometimes there are photo exhibitions and that sort of thing in the library too.

There's probably even more, but this is what I was able to think about right now.
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On the Swedish book blog, Old Adult Reads Young Adult, I found this interesting question:

What does your library mean to you?

I thought I'd answer that question here:

When I was a child, I began to borrow books very early, from the age of four to five years. I got my own library card, in the small village up north where we lived back then. Then we moved to a relatively big town and had to return to using my mum's library card. Since then the library has come to mean very much to me. When I got a little older I was allowed to come with my dad to his school, where he was the principal/head master, during weekends and was allowed to sit alone in the library or with just my sister. It was so much fun, a bit like going to an amusement park.

Now that I'm grown up, I honestly don't go that often. When I was in fourth grade, a library book (from my own school library) ended up in a basket for books that needed repairing. The school librarian put it there, but must have forgotten about doing it. I was told that if I didn't return the book right away, I'd have to pay for it. That really scared me. After that, I stopped borrowing books almost completely, and even on the few occasions when I did, I was still scared to be blamed for something I hadn't done. I never had to pay for the book, because the librarian must have remembered where she/he put it, and that it wasn't my fault it was missing, but I didn't get over that incident until I grew up.

I have already posted about the awesome visit to a library while on summer vacation on one of Sweden's Baltic islands and the librarian was really great at advising me about what books to borrow, so I won't go into that now.

These days, I pretty much only borrow e books from the library, because I find that extremely practical. When the time is up, the book simply stops working.

Something else I do, though not all that frequently, is to go to the library and sit there, reading a book, without borrowing it. It's usually quiet and peaceful in there so it's really nice to just relax there. A little more often I go to the library to wait for the next bus or train, instead of going to the train/bus station.

I can also mention that the library in the town where I live now, has remarkably many e book titles, and the staff also arrange courses and lectures and so on, even though this is a very small town (some might see it as a village). Very nice! I'm so happy about that.

There's a tiny part of me that still wishes that I could have lived in Stockholm, where my dad was from, where I would probably have been able to have access to even more culture in the libraries (and museums and so on). In practice, though, that would never work, so I'm super happy about being where I am, at the moment.

Finally, I can mention that despite years of bad luck when it comes to this sort of thing, I'm still hoping against hope that some day I'll meet a book loving guy. One can always hope, right?
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