I was reading this story about funding cuts and problems with libraries and it got me thinking about how important libraries really are.
If you’re a big reader or you have a small home or even a small income then you can’t possibly buy all the books you want. If you want to branch out with your reading or have read all the books you can find by that author or in that genre then you need somewhere to go to get recommendations. If you’re young and need encouragement with reading you need somewhere to go for help. If you just want to hang out around books and the bookshops have all thrown you out cos you hang around and don’t buy. If you need somewhere to do your homework or you just need computer access you need somewhere to go. Libraries can and often do fulfill all those functions and more. They used to be just somewhere to go to borrow a book, do some homework and maybe get recommendations but now they’re so much more and they have so much potential. I see them as one of the backbones of society.
It is incredibly important that libraries around the world are given enough funding and get the right staff to ensure they continue. Ideally every library should have a copy of every single book ever written but that’s just a pipe dream as I know there just isn’t the room in every library and also the foundations wouldn’t cope with the weight.
Just digressing here. I can’t find the reference to it right now but I heard of a library which was rebuilt from the ground up. It looked absolutely fabulous and the opening ceremony probably reflected that fabulousness. There was one thing they forgot to take into account before beginning to build and that was the weight of the books. Last I heard the whole building was sinking by one inch every year due to the weight of the books.