Friday, January 28, 2011

Leave the libraries alone. You don’t understand their value. - Mr. Pickles, have you no shame?

Leave the libraries alone. You don’t understand their value. - Philip Pullman
You don’t need me to give you the facts. Everyone here is aware of the situation. The government, in the Dickensian person of Mr Eric Pickles, has cut the money it gives to local government, and passed on the responsibility for making the savings to local authorities. Some of them have responded enthusiastically, some less so; some have decided to protect their library service, others have hacked into theirs like the fanatical Bishop Theophilus in the year 391 laying waste to the Library of Alexandria and its hundreds of thousands of books of learning and scholarship.
Isn't there a Mr. Pickles in all our communities? Philip Pullman fights back against cutbacks in the library system in England and does so in style. By covering class warfare, the soul crushing marketplace philosophy, and political cowardice he describes whats wrong with government and publishing in one fell swoop.