On Slaw, Michael Lines lauds a presentation by Paul Holdengraber, Director of the Public Education Program at the New York Public Library:
Yesterday’s Keynote was probably one of the best talks on any topic I have ever heard. Inspiring, elevating, and hilarious, Paul Holdengraber delivered a wonderful message about reading, conversation, and libraries that has to be seen to be appreciated. Have a look at it here …
It’s wonderful, a rousing and triumphant vindication of libraries everywhere (even though the server seems to be picky about whether it will let you view it). Unfortunately, the powers that be don’t seem to see libraries in these terms. Rachel Cooke – journalist with the Observer and Guardian – has been blogging and writing about luddite UK policy relating to libraries:
If those of us who love books, and libraries, and believe they are a vital, beautiful and cherishable part of our cultural and social heritage, take our eye off the ball now, we will regret it. We must make a fuss, and we must name and shame those who are set on destruction.
Her colleague John Cooke is similarly concerned. There do not seem to be similar threats here, but let’s see what next Tuesday’s budget brings.