Thursday, 25 September 2008

Public Libraries - what is the point?

At one level it is a debate about whether libraries should be "silent and serious" or "noisy and fun". At a deeper level it is a debate about what public libraries are there for.

The latest round in this debate began with a piece in the Times about Camden Libraries which met with a quick riposte, then a leader in the Times and now letters to the editor. Well at least people are bothered.

This debate is being reflected in the ongoing campaign in Doncaster .

Meanwhile Gordon Brown has announced a plan for vouchers so every school child will have access to a PC with broadband. Yes, but... Isn't it like saying that every household should have a fully equipped operating theatre so we can all get medical treatment without having to go to hospital? Would the money be better spent on improving access in school and public libraries where it can be integrated with a full information environment?

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