Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Neil Gaiman: Why We Need Libraries

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Neil Gaiman is one of those buzzword authors. Unfortunately, I have not harkened to becoming a reader of his works. I have tried, really I have. However, I do perk up when it comes to successful authors speaking up about reading, particularly about libraries. Last year, Gaiman spoke eloquently about the need for libraries and the lecture,  “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming” was reprinted in The Guardian.  


The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

Another excerpt:

Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg: they are there, and libraries can provide you freely and legally with books. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before – books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online. Librarians can help these people navigate that world.

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Check out the lecture. You will be cheering by the end of reading it. You might even feel like running down to your library and say to it, “Thanks for being here.” Don’t forget to hug and a librarian and say the same.

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5 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman: Why We Need Libraries

  1. Gaiman speaks sense, his books are yet to thoroughly win me over although his latest The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a good read. I do love a good library.

  2. Your first paragraph of this post is parallel to my own thoughts. I’ve read two of his works, one a short story and the other a novel he wrote with someone else. Although I’m not riding the Gaiman Fan Train yet, and it appears many others feel the same way, I think all of us can agree about the awesome aspect of libraries, reading, and dreaming. Even of we have different tastes, it’s wonderful we can explore them to begin with.

    Additionally, growing up is definitely highly overrated.

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