Saving libraries is hard to dispute. I live in a bookshop and still use mine at least once a week. They're used by students and children, the employed and the unemployed, the elderly and even the housebound where delivery services exist. They hold important research collections - even little local libraries like ours - which would otherwise be broken up and dispatched far from the community the papers are about. They're a place to do homework, read the paper, use the internet. A place for grown-up book groups and children's story time. I've borrowed books to read, books for my child, books for my MA and books for my business. I've read old newspapers, consulted old maps and used back copies of Which? magazine to research safe car seats.
It is hard to think of an area of life that libraries can't touch. They are basis of the arts, the sciences, local history, education, social care, you name it. What's more is that unlike many things that are free, they are rarely abused or misused, and they are genuinely egalitarian.
Libraries are totally constructive. They work.
My own library is, I think, safe for the moment. Libraries in some of the villages in the Dales are not however. And in response to the idea of self-funding volunteer run libraries consider this: Gargrave library was threatened before in the 1980s. The villagers raised a staggering £30,000 to relocate it to a room in the village hall and save it. Now they are told they must save it again. 26 people have put themselves forward as volunteers - bless them - after all the work saving it last time it must be heart-breaking to be in that position again.
And if you like the posters illustrating this blog post and wonder where they are from: Phil Bradley has done a lovely job of reworking war posters for the libraries campaign. You can read about what he has done here and buy Phil Bradley's library posters here.