A BBC investigation, last year, came up with this shocking statistic: 343 British public libraries closed between 2010 and 2016. So what a delight to be invited to open a new library last week, at Harbinger Primary, on the Isle of Dogs.
In the ship-launching tradition of that corner of east London, it felt as if we should be launching the new library by smashing a bottle of champagne on the door. But the Head Teacher wouldn’t let me.
So I did my best to launch the new space by reading a poem written for the library.
All the children and staff at the school joined in by counting 3…2…1!
Then the ribbon was cut…
LONG LIVE HARBINGER SCHOOL LIBRARY AND ALL WHO READ IN HER!
Here’s the poem I read:
A BLESSING FOR A LIBRARY
Let this be a place where reading flows.
Let this be a place where imagination grows.
Let this be a place where facts are discovered –
a calm place, in busy times, where clear thoughts are recovered.
Let this be a place that is safe and warm.
Let this be a place where fresh dreams are born.
Let there be good stories here that make your heart go faster,
poems, riddles and comedies to make you burst with laughter.
Let this be a place of cliffhangers and mysteries.
Let this be a place for sciences and histories.
Let this be a place where you come to feel at home.
Let this be a place where learning seeds are sown.
Let this be a special place for the head and the heart.
Let this be a place from which journeys start.
Sean Taylor, May 2017