Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and then later with my friends to do homework and to hang out. They were always a quiet peaceful place to go and sit and read a book or magazine in. If you needed help the librarian could always be counted on to find what you were looking for. In the days pre internet that consisted of Encyclopedia Britannica and paper and pen! Closing libraries is a fine way to keep the poor powerless, anyone could walk through those solid wooden doors and read quietly and learn. Our local library is the free custodian of local stories packed with drama and emotions and the history of where we live, filled with radical, stupid, exciting ideas all in one place, what more could you want. Get ride of libraries and you can wave goodbye to the type of escapism that is only found in books. Take away the library and you take away the one truly powerful thing for people who can’t afford an ipad or kindle or who have no quiet place.
There are so many other things the library gives you easy access to, the council offices re-situated there as the buildings housing them were sold off to save money. Instead of going to the Town Hall to get help with your benefit or arrange your rent now you go to the library. Computers giving anyone access to the internet, for a fee. The Citizens Advice Bureau, trained volunteers there to help with free advice. It is our community lifeline, sometimes our only access to the internet, take this away from the old, poor, disables and you take away our power and confidence. Every day we face the unintended consequences of our governments ill thought out and criticised moves to save money and combine benefits, thought out and implemented by those without money worries, who have no problem with paying their bills and their mortgages, is this just a way to punish the poor and balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.