People of the Library: Anne & Ella

11th January 2022
People of the Library: Anne & Ella

Ella Pather-Jacob has been a member of the Library since she was three months old.

The Library was one of the first places Ella visited with her parents, Jason and Anne, when they moved to the island in 2019. At two she’s now an avid reader, and comes to the Library several times a week.

For the second in our ‘People of the Library’ blog series, Marketing Assistant Abi Paine sat down in the Children’s Library to talk to Ella and her mum. Ella had a punnet of blueberries on the chair with her which she was devouring in fistfuls, so we spoke to Anne first.


Abi: What led you to join the Library?

Anne: I’ve always wanted Ella to love books, because they’re a way into a whole new world. So it was a no brainer to join the Library!

Books have always been like friends to me – I’ve moved a lot in my life, I grew up in India, then I went to Australia, and then I came to the UK where I met my husband. Everywhere I went, I joined the library, and I met people through the library. We moved to Guernsey when Ella was three months old, and when we got here one of the first things we did was come to the Guille-Alles Library, and I was so amazed because this space, especially the Children's Library, is so magical. And I thought, 'I definitely need to sign her up!'


Abi: How do you use the Library in your daily life?

Anne: When we first arrived I didn't know anyone, but we started coming to Baby Bounce and it was a great way to meet other mums. The librarians who run those classes are amazing!

I used to breastfeed Ella during the day until she was about a year old. At lunchtime my husband would get Ella from nursey and bring her to the Library, and I would pop across from work to feed her here. So that was kind of our life - we came here virtually every day from when she was three months to about a year.

We still come here all the time. We do buy a lot of books but the great thing about the Library is that you get to borrow the book and then other boys and girls get to read it too, and you've almost got another way of connecting – thinking, 'oh, other children have read this book, I wonder what they thought about it'.

So we do borrow a lot of books. She likes reading the same ones over and over – she gets obsessed! – but I've been trying to do a new book a day, so that by the time she's five she will have read around 300 a year, and that's over a thousand books she would have read (with some repetition). So that's the aim!

Ella being read to by her father Jason

Ella being read to by her father, Jason, in the Children's Library


Abi: *turns to Ella* What's your favourite book, Ella?

Ella: Wonkey Donkey and Gruffalo

Anne: We first read The Gruffalo here, and now we've got all the books!


Abi: Do you read together?

Anne: Yes, she won't go to sleep until I've read, and her dad makes me change the books by the bed otherwise she keeps asking for the same books over and over! Then we say OK, now we have to turn out the light, and she says, 'no, one more book!'


Abi: What do you hope for Ella's future, do you hope she continues her love of reading?

Anne: Well she's only two, so I really don't know. But she's got a great imagination and I think that's because of the books she reads and the time she spends in the Library. When you have books, I don't think you're ever lonely. I don't want her to ever feel lonely, I want her to always feel like she's got a hobby to do and a good imagination.

Ella *points at book* - A duck!

Anne: What do ducks do?

Ella: Quack!

Anne: And what else do they do?

Ella: Swim!

Anne: Where do they swim to?

Ella: To the harbour

Anne: Then what happens?

Ella: *embarrassed face, shoves some blueberries into her mouth*


Abi: Have you had any particularly memorable experiences at the Library?

Anne: I used to sing with the Rainbow Chorus upstairs, and we sang Christmas Carols here last year on Christmas Eve, on those wonderful historic stairs that I love! You have such diverse events, it's amazing what you do.

We couldn't make the Drag Queen Story Hour this year but last year Ella loved it, she was so happy getting involved. The performer read My Brown Skin, which is one of Ella’s favourite books, and I cried when she read it. I was brought up in a family where I was the darkest one in my family, and I was told they would have to save up money to marry me off because there's a dowry system in India. So just reading that book and reaffirming the fact that it's perfectly nice to have brown skin was just really touching, and I want Ella to grow up thinking that and being proud of her skin colour.

I just want to say a huge thank you to the Library, we've been here for two and a half years and the Library has been crucial in helping us assimilate into the community. I've met people and made friends here, and it was even a big selling point in convincing some friends of ours from Australia to move here, too! Lots of people think the Library is just a place you go to borrow books, but it’s so much more. Thank you for what you do!


Missed the first in our People of the Library series? Read about Eugene here