Why we need libraries

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“Great news for book lovers. The results of a study commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to measure which activities make us happier are in – and the top joy-inducing spots are occupied by dancing, swimming and…wait for it, wait for it…going to the library. Apparently, the uplift it gives people is equivalent to a £1,359 pay rise.

“I know. It’s fantastic. Faced with figures like that, especially from research it demanded and paid for its very own self, a ministerial department would have to be mad not to look again at any policy that had, since last year, resulted in an estimated 493 libraries around the country being closed, palmed off to volunteers or facing closure.

“It would have to be stuffed to the gills with fools, or people who are so unfeeling that they remain unmoved in the face of increasing, quantifiable human unhappiness.

“Clearly neither of these things can be the case, and yet no U-turn on the municipal budget cuts that have prompted such closures has yet been forthcoming. Curious.”

– Lucy Mangan in The Guardian. Read the full article here.

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