Saving Highgate Library
This afternoon I had the privilege of speaking at a protest-cum-celebration at Highgate Library, which Camden Council want to close. As someone who spent a great deal of my childhood in my local library, and uses this one regularly along with my kids (both of whom were in attendance today), I feel strongly that libraries are an integral part of our heritage,our community, and our future.
Last year I spent a great deal of time in Highgate Library, and what struck me was not only that children were able to pick up books, to look at them and browse at their leisure, but that their parents had a place to go, to meet and mix and relax without being pressured to spend money. In this the library is almost unique; along with the post office and the local pub, it is surely far too important to be viewed simply in utilitarian terms of profit and loss. Along with many others I signed a petition today; but do you suppose the government are listening?
Anyway, congratulations to all involved in the campaign for making it such an enjoyable afternoon, and to the many distinguished guests who spoke and read for the audience, including Roger Lloyd-Pack, Tracy Chevalier, Jane Hill, Julian Barnes, Hunter Davies, Danny Scheinmann, Celia Mitchell (reading the poetry of Adrian Mitchell) and local MP Frank Dobson.
Thanks most of all to everyone who went along and offered support, and to the clouds for holding in their sides...