Library membership in FranceDo libraries exist any more?

I can see the huge advantages if an ipad, no heavy books to carry around, no storage problems, paper usage is reduced and new ‘books’ can be immediately downloaded. But.. It isn’t quite the same reading a book on a screen.

Confession. We have lived in France for almost nine years and I haven’t yet even been into a French library. Shocking.

Today, we joined the mediatique at Guer. A very hard brick and glass building, probably built in the 70’s or maybe 80’s. Lino floor and shelves of books with handwritten signs above each shelf indicating the subject matter of each section. Money isn’t wasted on ambience or comfy chairs!

There were a lot of books and they all looked in good condition, a small CD and DVD section and at the back of the library there is a small room with four quite old computers, which I assume are connected to the Internet.

Iona and Joe both chose 2 books and we went to the desk to ‘join up’. The woman explained that it is preferable that the whole family ‘joins’. I filled out a form for us all, we were given four tickets and then she asked for 27 euros!

This always gets me! In France you pay for EVERYTHING! Museums, some beaches …. I have to consciously get my purse out in the doctor’s waiting room, as I’m sure I would leave without paying the doctor otherwise. We are so used to getting free medical care, free library membership etc etc it is hard to realize that this just isn’t the case in France!

I pay, and am already looking forward to returning to this library, as I am sure over the next ten years it won’t be possible to go into a quiet building, which is full of books.. Paper books.

Please help us!

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