In February, British children’s book author Terry Dreary made the case to his local council that they should cut the funding for the local library, a proposition they were already investigating. Dreary is, based on the Guardian’s report, the second most checked out author at all British libraries, and he feels slighted by the lack of sales his books get due to the frequency with which they are checked out. He makes a secondary point that booksellers are also missing out on potential revenue to libraries. His most prominent point is that libraries are “no longer relevant.”
As a child, I looked forward to two things: reading books and buying books from the Scholastic flyers we got routinely at school. Unfortunately, I could only pick out one or two books at a time. I had to supplement those one or two books every two months or so with books from the minuscule school library and the equally diminutive town library. (When your town has less than 300 residents, libraries tend to be quite small.) Even now as an adult, buying books would break my budget, but borrowing books allows me to sample different authors. If I like that author, I’m much more likely to purchase their next book. Or if I really like the book, I’ll go out and buy the book both to support the author and “decorate” my bookshelves.
Many children and adults who love books still live in equally small rural towns or just cannot afford to purchase enough (or any) books to satiate their literary appetites. As commenters on Nathan Bransford’s blog state, libraries create readers. Many a child has marveled at the vastness of books and knowledge contained within the walls of the library. (Even children with super small local libraries marvel at its size and contents.) As a book lover, I can’t stand behind something that would limit people’s access to books.
What do you think about the fight to save libraries? If you were a published author, would you feel differently?
To read more of my thoughts, follow me on Twitter. For more book reviews, books I’ve read and books I want to read, find me on Goodreads. Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest to see all the craft and home decor projects I’ll probably never do and some cool book and social media pins. And of course, If you like what I have to say, like or follow my blog through e-mail. Sign up is on the right!