Use them, or lose them
Thursday, 18 February 2016
First of all many thanks to the Unbounders who have pledged for the Pumilio Child. I don’t have your details so I can’t send you a personal thank you email, but I am incredibly grateful to you all for taking a punt on an unknown writer.
Secondly one thing that really concerns me is that over a hundred public libraries closed last year.
I have been spending a lot of time recently in my local library. Last week there was a ‘Speak up for Libraries’ lobby of Parliament and on Friday there was an interesting article by Robbie Millen in the Times, advocating the privatisation of libraries. I am more in favour of publicising what libraries offer both keen readers and writers, in the hope that once people know what is available then this might help stem the closure rate. As well as offering a wide range of local clubs and activities for all ages, free career advice and free language courses, my local library offers access to reading and writing groups.
Most importantly for me, the unfailingly helpful librarians will look through their catalogues and for the princely sum of 50p will order in any book from the London Library Consortium. Nothing fazes them. From which women wore face veils in Renaissance Italy, to how the Union of Eunuchs operated in the Forbidden City. Honestly, if you want it, they’ll do their level best to find it. It’s a wonderful service and must be a godsend to hard up students. Your local library is a wonderful community resource. We must use them or lose them.
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