Got my Oxfam gift catalogue recently. Bought a few things for some people I know who don't need anything bought for them and are delighted to have something bought on their behalf for people in places where they really do need things.
One of the more expensive things in the Oxfam catalogue is a library, which you can buy to help lift people in developing countries out of poverty. Because libraries are the mark of development, of self-esteem, of open minds, of growth, of strength and of humanity.
Which makes it all the more sickening, grotesque and ignorant that our politicians, in our so-called developed country, are closing libraries. They call it economic. It's not economic. We can afford libraries. We must afford libraries. No, this is not economic; it's political. It's stupid, too.
Only someone with a closed mind closes libraries. Or, perhaps, someone so ignorant, so arrogant, that he thinks that everyone can buy books. Or that "it's all on the internet, innit?"
No, it's not all on the internet. It's all in books. And minds. And without books, minds are empty.
So, Mr Cameron, Mr Vaizey, and all you other foolish, empty-minded, treacherous politicos: don't rob us of our libraries, because in doing so you show nothing but your own ignorance.
Please, everyone, don't let this happen. Blog and rant about libraries and cuts. Write to politicians. I did last night. And if you know people who have already blogged, please put links to them in the comments below. I'll then transfer them into this post.
Here are some to start you off:
Join Alan Gibbons' Campaign for the Book Facebook page
Notes From the Slush-Pile
KM Lockwood- an open letter
Philip Ardagh writing on FB