The threatened closure of public libraries is deeply worrying.
Their mandate is to serve the general public.
Libraries are about freedom.
Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication.
They are places where you go to explore, interact and imagine.
They are about education for life, about entertainment and about access to information.
There is much misunderstanding about what is the purpose of libraries today.
Some argue that the digital age makes a shelf of books antiquated, forgetting, among other things, that many books are not available digitally, and that libraries now offer numerous services other than borrowing books.
We live today in an age of information glut.
Recently it was estimated that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization to 2003.
Finding a particular plant in the jungle is the problem now.
A library helps us to navigate the jungle.
It is a repository of free information for all.
It is a community space, a place of safety, a haven from the hectic world.
We all have an obligation to support libraries.
We should use them, encourage others to use them, and protest their closure.
Those who devalue libraries do not value reading or information or culture or wisdom.
They are silencing the voices of the past and damaging the future.
Einstein was once asked how can we make our children intelligent. He said: “by reading to them and by encouraging them to read.”
The internet has not made the library redundant.
We now go to a library not only to borrow and search for information but also to sit, learn, reflect and study.
Libraries offer many community activities such as: sessions for the aged, baby sessions, computer teaching, adult literacy and job seeking facilities.
For some 350 years our libraries have been a beacon of a well-read and educated society.
They are an important cornerstone of a healthy community.
At a time when financial cuts have to be made, libraries are of great importance to the disadvantaged.
They are a key gateway to knowledge and community cohesion.
Attempts to derive a realistic monetary valuation for their activities is akin to the search for the holy grail.
Their value is far more than financial.
We must fight to keep our libraries open.
Dr Barry Clayton via email
Lack of response to WW1 event
I would like to voice my strong disappointment in the vast majority of our local Labour Preston City councillors.
On July 11, I emailed various members local to Preston to invite them to an event which is in part to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Private William Young VC.
This First World War hero died from injuries he sustained saving the life of a another soldier.
My disappointment arises in the fact that I have received only three replies, and not one from any of the councillors who supposedly represent the Deepdale Ward. These same councillors are very quick to get in touch when they want our votes.
You would think an event to commemorate a war hero, who was given a civic funeral in Preston, would at the very least warrant a response from people who are, after all, in public service.
The event in question is to take place on Saturday, August 27, which will be 100 years to the day since William died.
The Close Friends Group Secretary
Where will the toxic waste go?
As Theresa May and Philip Hammond ponder the dubious economics surrounding the proposed Hinkley Point deal, it is time to address the fact that even if nuclear power could be produced efficiently in the short-term, it cannot be viable as long as there is dangerous radioactive waste as a by-product.
And that’s not forgetting to mention the extraction, storage/transport of toxic materials.
The former Department of Energy and Climate Change has already refused to answer questions regarding the final destination of radioactive materials, which is very disconcerting (maybe they should ship it to France or China as they have such a
vested interest in our future).
Sure, waste may be stored for a finite period but some of these products have a half-life of thousands of years, so what happens when these materials become exposed?
There’s no such thing as a magical pit in the ground where toxic waste disappears without consequence.
What if a reactor fails or the plant becomes victim to a terrorist attack?
A clean-up operation could be devastating both financially and environmentally.
Is it really fair to leave such a burden on the next generation?
We need more self-sufficient cleaner/renewable forms of generating our own energy that doesn’t involve manipulation by foreign investors.
Waiting for funeral times
I was interested in the letter about funeral times, as I have often wondered why, when told a friend had died, it was so long before the service (LEP July 23).
Coming from Northern Ireland, I can say it is not the norm.
It is two to three days – based on the death and resurrection of Christ. In the scripture, this took place after three days.
E L Nuttall, Fulwood
Where’s Larry cat’s honour?
With regard to David Cameron’s honours list. I feel Larry the Downing Street cat must be very disappointed.
Chris Boddy, address supplied