Thursday, February 21, 2013

A book about libraries

The Library Book

This book is a collection of short pieces concerning the benefits of public libraries, and the authors' various experiences of them.

Michael Brooks contributes a piece called "It takes a library..." and suggests that "there is little that can compare with the joy and value of discovering a book that you could only have come across by being in the same physical space." Indeed, I came across this book quite by chance while browsing the shelves at one of my local public libraries.

The quality of the contributions is uneven, and some chapters have the feel of being dashed off upon request.  The most disappointing thing about the book, however, is that it is intensely political. It has been published in reaction to recent library closures in the UK, and its release coincided with the inaugural British National Libraries Day. But to an Australian reader, the issue seems remote and tedious.

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