I found myself in a tiny library. On the outskirts of Colchester, autumn morning, in a tiny library.

Squeezed between the Tandoori restaurant and the newsagents is the bijou Stanway library.

This morning I am here coincidently at the same time as rhyme time for parents and babies so it is a tiny library filled with tiny people.

I know it’s probably technically cheating (because you’re only allowed one book) but if I were ever on Desert Island Discs and invited to name the luxury I could take with me Stanway Library would be high on the list.

I seem to remember ex Prime Minister John Major was allowed to take The Oval cricket ground in its in entirety so it seems a fairly modest request by comparison.

Libraries, in fact all libraries, hold a hallowed place in my heart.

Could there be anything more beautiful, more aspirational, more elegant or more sexy than a public library.

It’s a simple concept isn’t it. Get a building, fill it with books, people read them.

Yes, I know it’s far more sophisticated than that now, there’s DVDs, CDs, online books and no doubt all manner of other things going on, but the basic concept has a beautiful simplicity.

Sharing knowledge for free, a repository where pages and pages of facts, fantasy and fiction can be the gateway to your soul.

I fell in love early in the small square children’s room of Watford library where the shiny parquet floor, sheathed by the variously shaped books was the playground for my imagination. Where the shushed silence was interrupted only occasionally by the unmistakably distinctive click of book stamping and the quiet insertion of cards into inside covers.

As a teenager I would go to the reference library to study for my O Levels and was fascinated to find a selection of tramps, no doubt partly for warmth, sitting at the wooden tables and quietly immersed in the weighty broadsheets of the Financial Times and the Telegraph.

And here I am now in this tiny library, the quiet re-shelving and administration by the librarian on one side and the slightly noisier introduction to libraries for tiny little people on the other. Books are everywhere.

Rhyme Time for the babies means taking a book and singing some rhymes. Silently I sing along.