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Zadie Smith Wants You to Save Your Library

June 3, 2012

“A library is one of those social goods that matter to people of many different political attitudes.”

– from Zadie Smith’s excellent (and rather lengthy) new piece on The New York Review of Books’ blog, titled “The North West London Blues,” about the importance of libraries as social spaces and a community’s glue. It should be required reading for anyone who argues that libraries, with their neat shelves of printed matter, are obsolete in an era where most written knowledge is discoverable online with a few search queries and mouse-clicks. But as Smith discusses in the article/post, politicians are using exactly that argument to cut library funding as part of austerity movements on all levels of government – causing potentially enormous damage to what she calls “a significant part of our social reality.”

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