27 January 2011

Another Reason I Love Philip Pullman

As if it wasn't enough that he wrote the brilliant trilogy, His Dark Materials, Philip is also a passionate defender of public libraries. In a recent speech, he presented a brilliant and engaging defense of public libraries as a neccessary part of society. While he is speaking to the position of public libraries in his native England, his points are just as valid here, where libraries are facing amazing challenges of funding (and, more accurately, underfunding) at a time when the economic situation has caused use of public libraries to skyrocket.

I especially love his defense of librarians (of course I do!):
Nor do I think we should respond to the fatuous idea that libraries can stay open if they’re staffed by volunteers. What patronising nonsense. Does he think the job of a librarian is so simple, so empty of content, that anyone can step up and do it for a thank-you and a cup of tea? Does he think that all a librarian does is to tidy the shelves?
You can read the speech in it's inspiring entirety here.

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