Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Libraries - at the Heart of Culture

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Libraries - at the Heart of Culture

Article excerpt

'Cutting Libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague,' wrote Canadian library assistant Eleanor Crumblehulme.

Her words have been adopted by a national movement attempting to defend libraries from closure across England.

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As this magazine went to print, Newcastle City Council was contemplating a draft proposal is to close up to 10 of Newcastle's libraries due to budget cuts, while Gateshead Council was considering closing five libraries.

The plans were branded 'wrong and immoral' by authors including Philip Pullman, children's laureate Julia Donaldson and acclaimed author Anne Fine.

Skellig author David Almond said: "A library is one of humankind's greatest inventions and is at the heart of our culture. The library liberates and educates us as individuals, allows us to look beyond the boundaries of our own locality, and gives us a sense of our place in the wider world."

Playwright Lee Hall wrote in an open letter to Leader of the Council Nick Forbes: "The notion that the library is central to our lives survived two World Wars, the great Depression, Thatcher and any number of philistine administrations. If these closures go through on your watch I believe it will be a scar on your legacy you will regret for the rest of your political life. …

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