Monday, September 11, 2006

Checking out the books?

Interesting comments made by author Susan Hill over the weekend covered in today’s Guardian about the declining state of libraries as they move away from being focused on being a source of reading material and evolve to become 'social centres'. I have to admit that I only recently joined my local library and found that more floor space seemed to be going into providing computers for people to surf the web, as well as things that provide an income like DVDs and CDs.
Some big libraries I have visited manage to provide all of that without appearing to compromise the number of books they offer. The problem comes when the ratio of floorspace to non-book entertainment stays the same in a smaller library. That not only reduces the books on offer but changes the atmosphere into something very different from the past, where the focus was on books and the noise levels were lower. Changes might be bringing more young people through the door the sad thing is that they come to surf the web and not to read literature.

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