Neil Gaiman on why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

gaimanThe Reading Agency, a British charity with a mission “to inspire more people to read more,” asked author Neil Gaiman to give their second annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries. Mr. Gaiman strongly believes that library closures are “like stopping the vaccination programmes,” and that

“libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.

I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.”

You can read an edited version of Mr. Gaiman’s impassioned lecture here. Also, you can find many of his books at EPL.

~ Olivia

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2 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman on why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

  1. Money quote: “I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

    It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.”

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