Anyone who knows me will know that I read copiously. I adore books but having lived a precarious academic life for so long I sadly don’t own a library’s worth (though I probably do have that many digital books…I do love the accessibility of a digital book). That said, even if I did I would still be a member of the local library and use it frequently.
Public libraries are more important than ever. And yet we (I’m speaking of certain demographics here) seem to use them less than ever, preferring ownership of books. But libraries are so much more than that
: libraries help connect communities and make them healthier, they “house centuries of learning, information, history, and truth, are important defenders in the fight against misinformation”, and so, so
As gateways to knowledge and culture, libraries play a fundamental role in society. The resources and services they offer create opportunities for learning, support literacy and education, and help shape the new ideas and perspectives that are central to a creative and innovative society. They also help ensure an authentic record of knowledge created and accumulated by past generations. In a world without libraries, it would be difficult to advance research and human knowledge or preserve the world’s cumulative knowledge and heritage for future generations. Ben White, Head of Intellectual Property, British Library
Libraries are wonderful liminal spaces. I still use the library on campus at Bath for physical books (old school I know), and the public library in Bath (which Save Bath Libraries
had to fight to save just before I moved here). I’ve had a library membership all my life, in all the towns and cities I have lived. I have also used so many more in towns and cities where I’ve visited. I think some people look down on public libraries precisely because they are democratised spaces which serve the needs of a diverse population. But this is precisely why I love them and why I feel passionately that we need to support them.