Gaiman, N. (2013). Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming
A friend recently shared this speech with me, and I had to share it with you guys. Neil Gaiman gave the Reading Agency annual lecture on October 14, and his main thesis was that libraries and reading fiction are essential to a bright future. After admitting his bias towards reading and writing, Gaiman goes on to explain that childhood illiteracy has been shown to correlate with criminality. He posits that the only way to get kids to read is to show them that it is fun. And that means not restricting the types of books that they read. Gaiman says that fiction is a “gateway drug to reading,” fosters empathy, and inspires innovation.
He then waxes eloquent about the benefits of the library, and I love it. I’ve included my two favorite quotes below:
“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 If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally.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.”
“A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. It's a community space. It's a place of safety, a haven from the world. It's a place with librarians in it. What the libraries of the future will be like is something we should be imagining now.”
Take the time to read the article or watch the video. It’s well worth your time.