A word from the chair of The Library Campaign, who attended The Reading Agency’s second annual conference,

Neil Gaiman, on tour from the US to launch his latest book Fortunately the Milk, stopped off to give The Reading Agency’s prestige annual lecture.

He pulled no punches.

Councils that close libraries, he said, “are, quite literally,stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open.”

And he clearly thinks that DIY book exchanges, run by volunteers without librarians, just aren’t libraries.

“I’m going to make an impassioned plea,” he said, “for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.”

You can read extracts from his speech and other details of the event here on The Reading Agency’s website.

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