I attended the Chiswick Book Festival the other weekend and I noticed how one thing came up in several of the lectures and book talks. The importance of libraries. A common theme among authors is the prevalence of books in their childhood. However, I have yet to hear one author telling me they spent all their pocket money on books, they always talk about how they took out as many they could from the library. It was the same for me when I was young, I never saved up my pocket money to buy books, I borrowed them from the library and my pocket money went to sweets. Bought books were for birthday presents and Christmas.
I am worried with the threat to library funding and several closures in the recent years, this is an institution that will have great impact on society if it disappears. Cuts need to be made, it is simple economics, don’t spend more than you have and library services needs to change according to how people are using libraries today. However, if they simply close library to save money in the short term, this will turn out to be a very bad, short-sighted solution.