I am posting this article because I think there is a need for us to step back from the abyss in the United Kingdom and realise that the closure of libraries and associated resources (including school libraries) is detrimental to our future as a country and also for us as individuals. The first public library came into being with The Public Libraries Act 1850, and this gave local boroughs the power to establish ‘free’ public libraries. The Act was the first legislative step in the creation of an enduring national institution that provides universal free access to information and literature, and was indicative of the moral, social and educative concerns of the time.
After nearly 170 years we are close to loosing that infrastructure for self education. The article below from Emily Prado, and in particular here paragraph just prior to the quote, ..Yet the recent election cycle and studies revealing Americans’ inability to sort clickbait from facts demonstrate how far from the truth this sentiment really is – ‘that libraries are not necessary’.
I am a long term self educationalist, with a passion for books and libraries. I access them through libraries, book shops, charity shops and also the internet. However without the library services of the past I would not be in that position today. Boys and girls require different stimuli and the libraries of the past allowed for this to happen, whether it was at school or in public libraries; now our future is looking bleak!
Libraries are radical, evolving resources that function with the sole purpose of providing free access to information for the masses and creating intellectual equality.