Why we need public libraries

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

libraries1“When I graduated from high school... I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for ten years.” ~ Ray Bradbury, author and library lover.

That's why we need public libraries... and that's why we need to fight to keep them open, in Britain and elsewhere. They are a lifeline and a way of learning for many if they would just be introduced to them properly.

But what is a public library. Is it only one that is paid for and run by the local municipality, local authority? A public library, first and foremost, regardless who runs it and pays for it, is one where the public, all of the public, have access to, free at point of use, to read books and also to borrow books.

I never went to school at all, and I thank my lucky stars for that, and got my education, after having been taught to read and write, through having access to a large library and devouring books, including a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1942 Edition).

While the library that I used as my reading room was not a public one in the general sense but based on a military post the same goes for public libraries with general access. They are a lifeline to those youngsters, and not just youngsters, who do not have access to books at home, or have not got the money to buy themselves every book that they would like to read.

On the other hand public lending libraries are also a very green option as one does not have to, then, buy all those book which one only has to dispose off at a later stage or, like me, who hates to part with books, ends up with a library of 1000s – literally – of books at home. And that again takes up lots of room.

So, let's hear it – listen up government – for public libraries.

© 2015