It’s been well attested how libraries can change lives for the better by supporting educational and work aspirations. Even, provide an escape for a short time, from the reality of poverty and social deprivation.
Therefore, it saddened me greatly to see the OECD report that stated young adults in England have scored among the lowest results in the industrialised world in literacy and numeracy tests . Not only that but younger people are actually falling behind the older generation in such skills.
Now I know that in many ways this reflects failings within the education system, perhaps even poor parenting, but it also highlights the huge role public libraries still have to play in providing literacy opportunities for children and young people.
This is further reinforced by the recent IOE report that shows reading for pleasure in children increases both literacy and numeracy skills.
Such a pity then that public libraries are in such crisis with many community libraries closing in areas of social deprivation, precisely the areas that need them the most.
As I saw recently on a library protester’s placard ‘cut libraries and see wot happens’.