Feeling very angry at this moment after reading John McTernan's article in the Telegraph (http://tgr.ph/oyQV0t). Apparently the fact that I oppose the closure of public libraries makes me a 'Liberal whinger' and I am only fighting to keep libraries open out of condescension and guilt.....what utter rubbish the man writes! Starting with the old chestnut 'you can get it all on the internet these days' argument. yes, you can get a wealth of information on the internet, this is true in fact you can get such a flood of information from one search that it's all too easy to drown in it."You can become ridiculously well informed ridiculously quickly" with Google apparently - you can also become ridiculously ill informed. Librarians are trained to help people swim in this flood and help steer them towards the relevant facts. "Fast cheap computing has spread to most homes" - operative word there is most and if that's his information then he certainly hasn't worked in any of the schools I visit where internet access at home is by no means a given, and parents are struggling to pay increasingly high food bills let alone spending money on internet access. They certainly don't have the money to buy their children the 'whizzy new mobile phones' the article mentions. As to 'virtually every kid has a desk at home' - utter rubbish, if I had said this to some of the students I used to work with who were sharing their bedrooms with 3 or 4 siblings they would have had hysterics! Not only did they not have desks but the noise at home made it impossible to study and they spent long hours in the local library working so hard to try and safeguard their future employment prospects. Libraries in secondary schools are indeed first class but the sad fact is that many of these are under threat of closure too, or have had their budgets slashed and anyway cannot offer the out of school times access that public libraries can.
Personally I am a computer geek , I fully admit it and make good use of Overdrive to borrow books to read on my iPad when travelling but I still take out 'real' books from my library regularly , as do my grown up son and daughter.
Citing your qualifications and work experience certainly doesn't make your arguments any more credible Mr McTernan , I do hope you have never called yourself a librarian because you are a disgrace and indeed an embarrassment to the profession.
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.