"Growing up in Accrington, Jeanette Winterson found refuge and inspiration in her local library. In an age of austerity, the need to protect and reinvent libraries for the future is more urgent than ever"
|Link to The Guardian|
"A hundred years after Engels was standing in the sewage of the Manchester slums, imagining a world where men and women would be more than useful objects, the second world war was nearing its end in Britain. John Maynard Keynes was overseeing the beginnings of the Arts Council in 1944 – which sounds like a crazy priority at the end of a world war, when the county was literally in ruins and Britain had no money at all – and there was food rationing. But the Labour party had a vision for postwar Britain, and education, art and culture for everyone were at the heart of that vision. A national theatre, free entry to museums, the expansion of the BBC. The Arts Council's first slogan in 1946 was "The Best for the Most". So we should ask ourselves questions about austerity budgets and what Britain can or can't afford.
"... Libraries across the UK are trying to offer as much as they can to the communities they serve, and particularly to people on low pay and with few resources, but there is confusion around the role of libraries: what are they? How should they change and develop? What place do they have in a modern internet-based world where the book itself might be disappearing?"