Ancient Books and Library Closures

If you tolerate this…

I’m sure that any keen readers out there are following the campaigns against library closures which are going on across Britain, as library users desperately try to highlight the vital role their libraries play in their communities before it is too late. I live in Oxfordshire where the closure of 20 public libraries is threatened, and have been following the UK wide proceedings with some interest. I think my favourite campaign so far has been the library in Stony Stratford, outside of Milton Keynes, which simply invited the users of the library to take out their entitled allocation of books in protest – with over 24 hours to go to the date of the protest the entire library had been emptied. Not that it’s just books that libraries provide.

Have a look at what the author Phillip Pullman and Nicky Wire of The Manic Street Preachers had to say on the subject, they say it better than I can, but I think we should all be vocal about this important subject.

I watched The Beauty of Books on BBC 4 last night. There were copies of ancient bibles which had been safely held in churches and libraries for over a thousand years. Image that, a thousand years. Empires have risen and fallen, worlds been discovered, space travel invented and these books have quietly existed alongside all of that telling the story explicitly or implicitly of the people who made them. Who will look after these resources and this knowledge if we close our libraries?

What will happen to the millions of books they contain?

 

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3 thoughts on “Ancient Books and Library Closures

  1. pkg

    I also wonder at times what will happen to book reading if we continue to leave books for spending time in front of TV and computer. Books are not only source of knowledge, they are our history, tradition and jewels of past.

    Reply
  2. bwitch

    There is only two advantages I can see to libraries closing:

    (i) bookshop profits may go up; and
    (ii) those of us who love books might get a chance to purchase our favourites cheaply as the books from libraries are disposed of.

    Other than that, I can see it all as a colossal loss. I need my local library and I can’t imagine living in a place where there is no library.

    Reply

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