The Telegraph today discussed the fight to save the Kensal Rise Library in north-west London. If the High Court chooses to save it, Philip Pullman, author of my favorite series of all time–the His Dark Materials trilogy,will visit the library tonight and hold a fund-raiser. He’ll also read from his latest bestseller, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.
Closing libraries is the behaviour of a debased culture. Libraries are not just a source of books. Many of us feel that they symbolise something more, that Britain is a civilised place. And when part of our civilisation is being destroyed, we have to stand up against the barbarians.
Libraries have been at risk of being closed in every country faced with budget cuts. Although I normally buy my books due to the lack of selection at my local libraries, whenever I’m looking for something new to read, I try to find it at the library first. This summer I borrowed Brave New World and The Age of Innocence, and now I would love to add them to my own book collection by purchasing them.
However, I know that many people don’t have the means to buy books, movies, or their own internet connection, and libraries are the perfect outlet for those in need. The digital divide has widened the rich-poor gap, and we need libraries to combat this issue. I donate the books I don’t read anymore to libraries, so someone else might have the opportunity to read them too.
To show you how important libraries are, the book I’m currently reading–The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins–was on the library wait-list over 100 people long! I decided to purchase the trilogy and give up my spot on the wait-list, so another person who might need it more could read it for free.
I’ve always loved Pullman’s passion and honesty, and I applaud his actions to save British libraries. I hope American authors will do the same here!