NON-FICTION//A Library Miscellany- Claire Cocks-Starkey

A Library Miscellany FRONT ONLY

My father-in-law bought me this book (he occasionally turns up with books that he thinks I might like), mainly because he knows how much I love libraries. It is an interesting little book, full of facts and figures about libraries around the world and the treasures the contain.

I was most interested in the facts about libraries and how they have evolved over the years; from those set up in the Islamic world in ancient times to the Victorian circulation libraries set up in cities for a small fee and those set up by Carnegie to encourage the reading of books in order to help everyone from all walks of life to learn.

Although this is a fun book, full of trivia (did you know the original Winne the Pooh is now housed in the main branch of the New York Public Library?), it also hits home just how fragile our library system is and how much work we need to do to protect libraries in this country. As of 2016, 343 libraries had closed in the UK (200 of those in 2012) as the austerity measures brought in by this government and the coalition government before it have started to hit; as councils try and balance the books in the face of massive budget cuts, libraries are often the first to go. The problem is, once they are closed, libraries are not likely to be brought back to life as and when the economy improves.

Most of the books I review here are library books; ARCs and review copies are nice, but not plentiful (and I don’t expect them, either. Any that arrive are a lovely and much appreciated surprise!) and I can’t afford to buy every book I want to. As a kid growing up in a family with not much money, libraries were my gateway to the world. We should protect our libraries and use them as often as we can.

 

1 Comment

  1. Having worked in a library for a bit (and being a lifelong user of libraries wherever I lived), it was frustrating to see how much is being asked of the system without providing the resources to do it. They are so important to every age, every class of citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

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