Sarah McIntyre - happy valentine's day, terry deary

An Intelligent And Calming Valentine Response To That Terry Deary Fellow

One of my best friends works like this; sometimes when I say something that everyone else is saying in the politically-left-leaning book world, he'll come back with something very contrary that sounds totally preposterous, often just to get a rise out of me. But usually when I talk with him about it, I'll find out why he's said that, and very often it will slightly alter my own opinion, even if I don't come to agree with him, or agree with him entirely. It's one of the reasons he's a best friend, and why I find working with him boosts my creativity so much.

What I'm saying is this: you don't have to agree with Deary, you might hate what he says. In fact, I'm almost sure you do, since you're one of the above demographic. But let's be civilised in our response; libraries have been a pinnacle of our civilisation. And contrary to what Deary implied, a lot of good things have come from the Victorians: women's suffrage, worker's rights, mass education (I'm repeating now what my friend said to me but I'm not going to make him jump publicly into the debate). And we can be glad that we CAN give a response, that Deary has the discussion going again in the media, and there's more chance the media will listen to you if you tackle what he's said. Thank you, Terry Deary, for that. I've seen several good responses already, but I've also seen a lot of name calling. Library friends, don't do that. You know Deary isn't anti-reading; Deary's the guy you want to invite to your panel discussions. We need more than only hard-working but invisible yes-men.

There are very practical reasons we still need libraries, but in what form? That's where we need you to come in with your ideas. Let's give people a safe space to share them without making them feel their careers are at stake if they say something odd. In fact, let's say more odd things. Let's get everyone talking.