Gareth Hughes
State of the libraries

I love libraries. Sure I’m the bookish type – but I think everyone loves them for one reason or another: to meet friends, listen to music, borrow a DVD, browse a magazine, to take a class, attend a public meeting and soon borrow an e-book for your digital reader. Even actor Michael Caine talks about another much-loved element of libraries – as a bastion away from the worries of the world.

I recently gave a speech I tongue-in-cheek called The State of the Libraries where I covered some of the issues facing our much-loved public libraries, including what I think is an ideological attack by the Government on the National Library. What do you think? Do we support our libraries enough in Aotearoa?

I’m also a bit of a pop-science geek and love reading books about astronomy so I wanted share this great quote I finish the speech with from Cosmos, by Carl Sagan:

“The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”

4 thoughts on “State of the libraries

  1. “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

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  2. I was reading a Bill Peet book to a class of 7 year olds last week and mentioned that I had got it from the city library and over 3/4 of the class proudly stated that they had their own library card. The future of our libraries is in their hands!

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