Neil Gaiman On The Future Of Libraries
Apparently, England has a library problem.
Budget cuts have forced their government to close hundreds of libraries since 2009. And The Library Campaign predicts 400 more will close by 2016, bringing the total to nearly 1,000.
That’s terribly sad.
During a recent lecture in London, Gaiman compared these library closures to stopping vaccination programs for children.
“It’s not insurance, we have the statistics,” Mr Gaiman said. “It’s the equivalent of stopping the vaccination programmes. We know what the results are. To remain a global power and have a citizenry that is fulfilled and fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations we need literate kids and literate adults.”
Amen, Mr. Gaiman. You speak truth.
Look, I live in America and our government is pretty embarrassing. So I’m not speaking on high ground here, but it seems like education should be one of the last budget cuts. What’s wrong with these people?
What’s a world without libraries? A horrible world, that’s what it is.
The sad thing is that, according to the same article, England was recently ranked 22 out of 24 European and Asian counterparts in literacy.
Gaiman also admits his disdain for the book snobs of the world as well, as he seems to think they have a negative affect on the spread of reading. Go figure.
Pointing to a trend to label genres or the work of a particular author as “bad books”, he said: “It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness.” He added that even reading works seen as “bad” would be a “gateway drug to other books you may prefer”.
Take that, book snobs.
Let’s just hope the English government gets its act together and these libraries aren’t forced to close. Any English readers seen the effects of this?
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)