Public Libraries Serve the Public

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Public libraries should not be run like businesses, argues Linda Holt over at the London Review of Books. They serve as a critical resource for a variety of marginalized populations:

…libraries became far more than an intellectual version of the mythical sweet shops of childhood. At school, libraries had occasionally provided refuge from the ruthless popularity contests of the playground. At university and afterwards, they were a haven, a home from home—or rather a home I’d never had.

The UK has been shutting down public libraries, with more than a hundred libraries closed in the last year.


Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →