Full text of speech given by Susan Cooper to the recent YLG (Youth Libraries Group) conference…
Highly recommended read
These are the two closing paragraphs:
The lucky child has a parent who reads to him, the lucky child has books on her shelves. All children should have the luck to have a public library, filled not only with information and computers but with books, and book people. In America, the book people are battling for this just as you are here. I haven’t yet seen a library closure total to compare with the 201 libraries closed here in 2012, but in that year 93% of American libraries reported cutting their staff, or their hours, or both.
Here’s the way I ended that talk that I gave 23 years ago: “We’re fighting a battle, you and I, every day, a lot of little guerilla skirmishes in the underground war to preserve the imagination. That’s what this weekend has been all about. We write the books, but you people, out there, have more influence than anyone over our readers. Without the channel that you keep clear, between the private worlds of the child who became a writer, and the new child out there reading, there would be no point in children’s literature at all.