It's an excellent speech, Cait. And he makes a very good case. Yet he lets himself down (in my opinion) by not addressing the very question that he acknowledges at the start of the speech which is: where is the money to come from? We have to conclude (given that there are umpteen good causes besides libraries) that we should just go on borrowing money to pay for them. Maybe we should, maybe we shouldn't but you can't just put your head in the sand and say the fact that public authorities are borrowing one pound in five doesn't matter. Are libraries more important than health or defence or overseas aid?That is the question we should be debating - not whether libraries are useful. Of course in an ideal world we would fund them, but it isn't an ideal world. And the world of 1957 was very different (I was there!) Books were far more expensive and there was no internet.He should also not complain about Mitchell resorting to personal abuse and then make snide remarks about Eric Pickles being 'monumental' and 'Dickensian.' (That he is is beside the point - Pulman just devalues his case).
Right, Cait. Thanks for sharing this! I would write a post yourself about the people you serve and why libraries are important to them...It seems we will never rid the uninformed of the notion that with computers and Google, libraries have become obsolete or less "fundable" than other things...This is bollocks, of course. My optimism gets a bit more dented daily because those in control of purse strings do not show the slightest bit of sense.
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