Friday, 18 June 2010
I used to love visiting the library. Being around that many musty books all in one place made me feel all warm inside. It was a place of escape. The smells, the quiet hush of millions of words all waiting to be read... heaven.
On my home from work a while ago I decided to take a trip to Southampton Central library. I was truly horrified at what I found. All the warmth had dissapeared. The quiet hush was filled with empty echoes. It no longer felt like a library, it looked more like a generic chain bookshop. Shiny wooden floors, bright white shelves placed in straight lines. More computers than books. And so much stark, empty space.
I felt dirty. It may sound extreme but to violate a place of quiet knowledge and learning, and to turn it into a scene from an Ikea catalogue fills me with such anger. Some might argue that they are trying to make it appealing to the younger generation, but I think the only thing the 'younger generation' will be looking for is free internet access.
Books are one thing I hold sacred, and it upsets me that those who have the power and the facility to maintain their existence are those who are slowly destroying it.