Now, I don’t know about you but I am unquestionably a profound supporter and enthusiast of libraries. Perhaps it has something to do with my everlasting love of books; or even the unperturbed and peaceful atmosphere when inside one. 

In times of economic hardship, culture is always the first expenditure to be put under the government spotlight. Perhaps that may be why libraries are now presently facing the most dangerous time in their history. With the explosion of the internet, the status of the book in our society is declining. Since I was five years old, several book shops in Wycombe have already closed - including the one in Priory Road, and Ottakars in the Octagon. Will libraries suffer a similar fate? Only time will tell. I was shocked when I spoke to my friends about how often they visit our school library and their replies consisted of ‘rarely’ and ‘never’. We often forget how privileged we are to have our school library with hundreds of books to choose from and a quiet place to read and do work.

My favourite library has to be Marlow Library, due to the friendly atmosphere in there resulting in me going regularly every two or three weeks. I spoke to Julian, a regular visitor of Marlow Library and previous librarian at the British Library about his views on the value of libraries:

“The power of a book will always exceed the power of a memory stick or a Kindle. In a virtual and digital age we will appreciate more and more the tactile nature of books in comparison with virtual knowledge.  With the rise of e-readers such as the Kindle, bookshops have declined therefore libraries rather than being defensive must be proactive in protecting the heritage of the book for future generations. In this way libraries must become almost like museums for it is inevitable that eventually the book will become a historical artefact. But more than a museum, a library must become a ‘temple’ to the book; a building where the book is celebrated.”