Biting the Hand That Stamps Your Library Book


Last week, British children’s author Terry Deary (famous for his Horrible Histories series) declared that public libraries are unnecessary relics of a past age; they cheat authors of their rightful earnings and “are doing nothing for the book industry.”

A few days later, Julia Donaldson, another British children’s author, fired back:

…libraries are the places where our readers and book-buyers are created. Without the huge choice of books which libraries provide, children are not going to discover their favourite authors, and will not then be asking for books for their birthdays or buying them when they are adults with their own money…

An author against libraries seems about as misguided as a singer hoping to smash everyone’s radios. Are there any other anti-library writers out there, or is it just Deary?

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →