I was reading the article ‘As book bans soar, a more subtle form of censorship has begun ravaging U.S. libraries’, and it was obvious that American libraries are under attack; however, I then thought about what was happening to the libraries in the United Kingdom- and what I found was that UK Libraries under Threat.
My research indicates that yet again we live in two countries:
a. England, Scotland and Wales – where an article by Sarah Shaffi in the Guardian (Thu 2 Mar 2023) indicates that spending on British libraries has fallen 17% as i-person visits have soared.
b. In Northern Ireland, the Guardian reports (Ella Creamer, 22 Sep 2023) that its libraries can no longer afford to buy books, that the library service will operate with reduced hours
Whatever way you look at it, it is the ‘working poor’ who are being disenfranchised. They do not have the access to books, papers, magazines etc. that the upper and middle class do; also the government in the UK advised benefit claimants to make use of the free computers in the libraries to manage their claims – something they cannot do if there are no libraries open!
But, is there also a hidden agenda; if the libraries are starved of resources, isn’t it also going to be minority groups [like the LGBTQ+] who will suffer by not being able to find books, magazines, newspapers, resources to support them?
It is obvious that the current government is one of austerity for the poorer class, but not for the rich!
- As book bans soar, a more subtle form of censorship has begun ravaging U.S. libraries
- Spending on British libraries falls 17% as in-person visits soar
- Northern Ireland libraries can no longer afford to buy books
- The State of Our Library