Entries for 5th Feb 2011
A few days ago, I wrote a comment about libraries [it was on a personal page]. Today, if you didn't know, is Save Our Libraries Day. It's rare that I cross-comment: but I'm going to reproduce what I wrote. If there is any protest against the cuts to libraries and you feel even remotely concerned that the government is trying to develop a nation of uneducated people please speak out. Anyway, here's what I wrote:
The clamp-down on thinking: here we are. No one is safe. Even in Egypt where there are huge riots, they protected the library. But here we create silent book tombs with civilisation as a corpse.
We are being taken back to the 19th Century, when very few could borrow a book for free.
Subscription libraries are great resources—but in towns, cities and communities where there is no such thing then the public lending library is a living breathing entity and should be sacrosanct.
My sextet would not exist without the library, since that's where the first research into stories began. Many of the things I've done have started in that space. And when I worked there, I tried my damnedest to make it a place to go. Because having a library MEANS something.
And even though the building in Derby is not necessarily threatened, I know that some more staff have gone.
The Public Libraries Act of 1850 asserts the universal right to literature and information as a national institution, through legislation.
We're not mucking about here—we made it law because we thought it was important. Universally important. And now it is being chipped away. Some people will say it's about lefties whining. But the fact that the act represents us as a nation should have any patriot out of his or her seat and slapping on the war-paint as well.
This government is quite simply stabbing the country in the throat.