Posted by: bluesyemre | October 9, 2018

A little history of #libraries and why they matter


Author Piers Torday explains why libraries are so important for these times and our children, when the world needs a little more magic.

The books, to begin with, were chained to the bookcase. There were just 24 wooden stools for seating. For well over the first 100 years of its existence, there wasn’t even a list of the books. But it was, most definitely, a public library.

Chetham’s Library in Manchester, founded in 1653, is the oldest surviving public library in Britain. It was built with the legacy of a local textile merchant, Humphrey Chetham, who stated in his will that all future librarians ‘should require nothing of any man that cometh into the library’.

And that remains the same today – for any man, woman and, crucially, child.

Nothing required.

For me that is the essence of a library, and why I love them.

You don’t have to pay to come in. You don’t have to buy anything. You don’t even have to read, if you don’t want to. You can go just to think, or to be quiet. You can study and work there. For some, a library might feel safer than their home, school or workplace.

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