In England, a new “austerity” budget threatens to eliminate or drastically reduce many public services. One proposal has called for the elimination of a number of public libraries. Author Philip Pullman offers a rousing rebuttal to those who are short-sighted enough to apply market rules to judge the worthiness of public programs:
I love the public library service for what it did for me as a child and as a student and as an adult. I love it because its presence in a town or a city reminds us that there are things above profit, things that profit knows nothing about, things that have the power to baffle the greedy ghost of market fundamentalism, things that stand for civic decency and public respect for imagination and knowledge and the value of simple delight.
Well that’s in England. Surely, it wouldn’t happen here? It’s already happening. Texas has proposed reducing state library expenditures to $0 (following California’s lead).