This week I was asked to open the new school library at Danetree Junior School in Surrey.
In these gloomy times, when the news is usually of libraries closing, and bookshops too, and children choosing to stare at screens rather than read books, and adults too, it was wonderful to see the passion and enthusiasm and hard work that had gone into this new school library.
When I was there, I unveiled a little plaque which will hang on the wall, and I heard about this library’s transformation and renaissance. The parents and teachers of Danetree have taken a dreary white room and turned it into a magical space, filled not only with books, but cushions and chairs, toadstools and fur coats, a lion and a faun, and a magnificent mural crammed with characters and scenes from the Narnia books.
Among all these delights, my particular favourite was the door.
It’s the door to a wardrobe. The door to a magical kingdom. The door to a refuge. The door to a room full of stories.
I wish every school could have a library as loved as this.