Why aren’t libraries open on a Sunday? Skilbey Blogs

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Leave aside the budget cuts for now. We are all aware that there is a systematic culling of  UK libraries wherever local governments can get away with it, and surviving library casualties placed through the mangle have had their opening times slashed.

Our cultural services are guilty of a kind of sacrilege and libraries have been left bleeding, with volunteers brought in to dress the wounds. The Sunday opening of libraries is never going to happen. The money isn’t there.

But I’m confused as to why libraries weren’t open on a Sunday in the first place? Before the Sunday trading laws were relaxed trading was not generally permitted until 1994 – Sundays had a heavier religious leaning and roughly consisted of worship (of some sort), family activities, Sunday lunch, reading the newspapers, and preparations for Monday – study, homework, work. There was the occasional visit to a Sunday market holding a special licence and a pop down to the local non-Christian practicing corner shop for a pint of milk.

Sunday was seen as a day of quiet contemplation, reflection, a day of connection, study, and understanding. How did the library not fit into this framework? You could hardly call them Sunday traders.
Even if not of a religious leaning, the concept of having a day of rest is attractive to many people. Libraries opening on a Sunday missed its optimum moment decades ago to nurture a culture of visiting libraries on a Sunday when many people could do it and while the birth of the commercial internet was still in its Babygro.

A library is a churchStill, why can’t a person visit a library  on a Sunday to just relax, study a selection of newspapers or magazines? Why can’t a student or a writer head to a library where there may be fewer distractions than at home to study or write?

Why can’t A. Reader walk into a library on a Sunday, select a book off a shelf and sit down and have a jolly good read?

There are an awful lot of lonely people who are deeply isolated and Sundays can be the hardest. They desire some human contact if not in a conversation. Communal reading can be medicinal.

Libraries should have the same respect and status as a church or a place of worship.

Its my kind of scriptureIt’s my kind of Scripture anyway.

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8 thoughts on “Why aren’t libraries open on a Sunday? Skilbey Blogs

  1. I suppose it’s as you say. It wasn’t in the budget or perhaps they wanted to give their employees a day of rest, too. No work on the Sabbath? Some cities in the US still have blue laws where nothing is open on Sundays.

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  2. Hmm. Interesting. I don’t know. I think US libraries are open on Sundays. Budget cuts, money…those are definitely issues but, still, they’re open. I think. Now you have me wondering. Is it all of the UK and all of the US or is this decision by counties, towns, etc.

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    1. Good to hear that US libraries are open on Sundays!! As a rule they are not here in the UK- there are one or two local authorities that have opened on occasions, but if there are any open here, they are usually privately owned libraries (not supported by the local government) Opening on Sundays here in the UK has never been an option, never been brought to the table and that is so sad for us. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You definitely have a point here. Reading is very relaxing and spending some time in a library on a Sunday would be a great way to relax. I often read on a Sunday afternoon – it’s my little reward at the end of the weekend when all the household chores have been completed. 🙂

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    1. I think libraries would get a shock with the number visitors if they opened on Sundays. And you have just summed up a perfect afternoon! Thanks so much for commenting. 🙂

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