Terry Deary Replies

Terry Deary Replies

Blogger Trevor Craig emailed Terry Deary about those recent controversial views about libraries, and received the following reply (quoted from the blog)

"Hello Trevor

I am not sure exactly what you have read of my views - the media distorts and edits mercilessly. What I have been trying to say is that I want all people of all ages to have access to literature. A book is filled with an author's ideas and its purpose is to entertain and communicate with a reader. A library is just a building. I want to know if libraries (buildings) are still the best way to enable writers and readers to come together. I am asking a question, not proposing a solution. If librarians feel threatened by that question then you should not. If they are doing a wonderful job that justifies every penny of taxpayer's money you have NOTHING to worry about.

If you are arguing that socially deprived children from places like Hendon need access to books then I agree wholeheartedly (as you can imagine). But the answer is to find the BEST way to ensure EVERY Hendon kid has the BEST access. Many children (like me) found libraries intimidating places full of old stock with old attitudes, wholly inappropriate to children growing up in the 1950s. But just because they were useful in the past doesn't mean they have a God-given right to exist forever. The world is changing at an ever-increasing pace. I'm not advocating the closure of libraries - I am saying that, when there are so many social and economic problems, the libraries have to work much harder to justify their existence and demonstrate they are fit-for-purpose (sorry, horrible phrase) in 2013 and beyond. YES, they were great in the past and, yes, they helped people like yourself. Can they still do the same today? Can they do better? That's all I'm asking.

A public debate? Sorry I am not a fan of debates. I can air my views and someone can argue against me but will a "debate" change a single thing? I'm not convinced. And you would not believe the amount of vile abuse I've received for daring to challenge the orthodoxy. Do I really want to stand up to be shot down? It is very tiring at my age to be on the receiving end of so much spite and bitterness. On which note I must sincerely thank you for your considered and courteous message ... I would never have guessed you were angry until your footnote said so. I wish everyone were as restrained and intelligent.

All the best