Libraries and the English culture

Newspaper article headlines today support libraries………..

Time for a quiet rebellion over library closures

Now I think its safe to say I’m a bit of a literary addict, and this has to go down as one of my all time favourite quotes:
When musing on his blindness, Jorge Luis Borges “imagined that paradise will be a kind of library”.
Hallelujah! (I’m not religious but if I had to choose, heaven is a library)
In my time, Libraries have seen me through – I find them to be a kind of sanctuary – with small toddlers to amuse and give direction and structure to, in my early return to work days as a volunteer, and finally to helping me decide on a new career path – which involved many many hours of studying (with small babies ripping up work as I produced it) in the library.
What does the closure of so many libraries say about our culture? In many movies they are depicted as ‘information central’  despite the internet (most recently in The Next Three Days), and are used as a metaphor for mystery, intelligence and intellect, hidden treasures……..They are most definitely not a preserve of the middle classes – providing free books to borrow, access to the internet, as well as free guidance in many things such as patents and family history research. Libraries are a shelter. A place to escape to, a place for many to have their only conversation of the day; an integral part of the community – something that this coalition seems hell bent on imploding.
Ok, so the motto is use it (don’t lose it), go out and borrow your books!
5th February 2011 Save Our Libraries day of action as promoted by Voices for the Library

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