Libraries in Summer
Books from the municipal swimming pool
Summer time, holiday season, time for reading. The good weather, however, lures few people into libraries. So some libraries have come up with special offers for readers in summer.
In summer, go where the people are – the town library of Biberach in Baden-Württemberg had this idea eight years ago. And so in the 2014 summer holidays its staff will be building a stand at the municipal swimming pool for the eighth time. There, on the balmy days from 28 July to 5 September, bathers can borrow reading material between one and five o’clock in the afternoon. About 300 media will be presented on ale-benches and in boxes: children’s books, magazines, comics and games. Nearby, sun loungers will be set up and blankets spread on which children can sit and browse in books and magazines. “They are the main users of the swimming pool library”, says Deputy Library Director Anne Grauel. “Comics and games are very popular with them; adults favour mainly magazines and picture books for children.”
Book with depositIf you want to borrow something and lack a library card, you make a deposit. “Most people leave a flip-flop or a T-shirt”, says Grauel. Without a library card, you can use a medium only for the length of an afternoon anyway. In recent years, says Grauel, borrowing has steadily increased. “Last summer we had 500 loans in 17 days”, she reports. “Even if some people don’t take advantage of our offer, it’s good to have a presence at an unusual place.”
Camping and ReadingBeach holidaymakers and campers of course have much more time than bathers for reading. At the Schillig campsite on the coast of the North Sea, guests have been able to borrow reading material since 1978. The campground library is run by the Protestant Church, which thus occupies a pioneering position in Germany. The campsite is one of the largest in Germany and very popular with families in the holiday season. The library is open daily from the beginning of May to September and is located in two rooms of a communal washhouse.
Holidaymakers will find there some 3,500 media, including novels, audiobooks and many games. Holdings are always up-to-date, says Margarethe Schöbel, Library Officer of the Lutheran Church in Oldenburg: “Every spring we decide which new releases of the past year we’ll buy”. Entertainment literature, but also more demanding books. The library is financed by the High Consistory, and the staff works in shifts of one or two weeks and live at the campsite. They organize game nights and picture book cinema, where pictures from children’s books are projected on the wall and the texts recited.
Here again it is children and young people who are the main users of our services, says Schöbel. “They especially like reading fantasy stories”, she says. Wirth adults, detective stories are the most popular. “Users can borrow the media for fourteen days. But most are returned after a few days. During the holidays, you have a lot of time”, says Schöbel, and adds proudly: “In one summer we loaned out our entire holdings about five times over”.