Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beware Mission Creep

In this time of fake news, breaking news, and twentyfourseven news, libraries provide a lighthouse for us. 

Every community needs one and to be without one is like being without a public hospital ... even if we don't use it we need to know we have one because we might need to use it one day and anyway tons of other people are using it right now ... tight knit communities still invested in the collective are cool with that. 

When we go to a library we do not go as shoppers but as community members with our right to free access to knowledge firmly ensconced in our psyche.

But our libraries like everybody's libraries are vulnerable, and need defending. Governments have their eye firmly on the 'profit' line and don't even pretend about the 'people' and 'planet' lines. Consequently libraries are being labelled dull and boring and out of date and obsolete, and then told it is time to be rebadged, gutted and or culled.

Yet according to Alan Gibbons, a well known children's author
 "libraries ... are not in decline because of some natural, historic progression, but because of the monstrous cultural vandalism of savage cost-cutting. We will pay a terrible price for the behaviour of our masters.”
Libraries are our village squares. They are our free public spaces where we can browse, dream and float through all sorts of information possibilities, memories, stories, connections. They teach us how to appreciate essential intangibles for life, and from that we learn how to be brave in standing up for what we believe in.

Libraries need our protection. 

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