Fate Worse Than Tacit Factories

01.02.2011

First BFI announces job cuts and the closure of its art gallery. Then over 400 public libraries are under threat in Great Britain. What is going on?!?! British Film Institute has done wonderful work preserving (British) film and television history. The British public library system is one of the finest in the world. Now the powers that be try to undermine these important services, all in the sake of money. How is it that the western world is richer than ever but is somehow, apparently, struggling with finances? It has all got to do with values and priorities. Preservering cultural heritage doesn’t sound all that hip or cool these days. And the idea of raising taxes to fund public library system is just scary. Things like free access to information for all,  promoting lifelong learning, providing (literary) culture to anyone interested, well, that’s just silly. Even more silly is to hire professional librarians to care for public libraries. Who needs an expert in cataloguing or documentation when google knows all and finds all, right? *sigh* It’s scary that this kind of thinking is spreading, first it’s Britain, next it’s happening all over. Somehow those so called tacit factories (future libraries mentioned in Finland’s official country brand) don’t sound all that bad….

Author Philip Pullman is also a library lover. “I love the public library service for what it did for me as a child and as a student and as an adult. I love it because its presence reminds us that there are things above profit, things that profit knows nothing about, things that have the power to baffle the greedy ghost of market fundamentalism, things that stand for civic decency and public respect for imagination and knowledge and the value of simple delight.” Read the whole article. Keep writing and promoting public libraries Philip ❤

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