QOTD: your friendly public library

A UK colleague sent me a pointer to this discussion of directions at Camden public libraries which includes this comment about public libraries by novelist Beryl Bainbridge:

Camden Town novelist Beryl Bainbridge said yesterday: “Why do they want them to be friendly places? They’re meant to be sacred. I bet you’d really impress young people if you had really old museum exteriors with lots of old books and silence. Make things accessible and people don’t want them. I hate modernity.” [Camden New Journal – News: Mike Clarke | Flick Rea | Beryl Bainbridge | Jonathan Miller | Alan Templeton | Doris Lessing]

One thought on “QOTD: your friendly public library”

  1. I don’t normally do full on sarcasm before breakfast, but… presumably that’s why our museums are full-to-bursting with really impressed “young people”?

    I also find it hard to believe that Bainbridge is seriously claiming that for libraries to be successful, they need to be unfriendly, inaccessible and only stock old books? I can’t think of anything that would kill off British libraries more quickly!

    No disrespect to Miller (74), Bainbridge (75) and Lessing (88), but it’s great to see good old fashioned British grumpiness is alive and well amongst some our senior citizenry 😉

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