“Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation
to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn”.
Reading is, and always will be part of our daily lives; yesterday, today and tomorrow: be it books, newspapers or magazines, be it on-line, at home or on the train, so surely our Library must be fit for purpose?
Spending £50 million on an airport terminal comes with its own pros, cons, fans and critics, but one thing that rankles with a lot of people is whilst money is being spent lavishly on this, and other capital projects, the public library at John Mackintosh Hall languishes in what can only be described as semi-squalid conditions. Leaking roofs go unrepaired. Books – the source of inspiration and joy to so many of us – lie abandoned, unloved and mouldy. Tumbleweed and the valiant library assistant are the only occupants whenever we visit. The situation isn’t just crass, it’s an assault on the rights of a public who are entitled to free and easy access to information, literature and social interaction. Indeed, everything a library these days should deliver. Library provision is one of the central tenets of a modern society, with its attendant – crucial – work in education and the development of the lives of our youngsters. As we go to press we learn that new computer terminals have been installed. It’s a start, but we hope that someone somewhere – whether it be at the John Mackintosh Trust, at the Ministry of Culture or indeed at No. 6 – has a bigger, grander plan up their sleeves demonstrating just how our library will be made fit for purpose in the 21st century.
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