We can’t have a literary festival without mentioning the Library. Hackney Council is working as hard as it can to protect its libraries in the face of massive cuts in funding from central government, and whilst the library service isn’t exempt from budget-balancing that needs to be done, it needs all the help we can give it in terms of local support.
We’ve been spending a lot of time in Stoke Newington Library recently as we’re camping out in a wonderful back room that’s lined with shelves on two levels, with books, DVDs and jigsaws lined up behind wonderful wood and glass cabinets.
It’s a great cross-section of the community, with pensioners coming in to pick up the latest, large print goriest crime novels, parents bringing their toddlers to story-telling events, job-seekers making the most of the research, photocopying and computer courses, people just reading the papers and many more just browsing the thousands of reference books (anatomy & physiology, language courses, how to put up shelves – you want to know about it, Stoke Newington Library can help). It also has an eye-wateringly large collection of Mills & Boon, which we hope is nothing to do with Richard Boon, the world’s coolest librarian (who used to manage The Buzzcocks, Magazine and a whole load of rather successful punk bands). Catch his Juke Box Fury event with old friends Paul Morley, Charles Shaar Murray, Lucy O’Brien and Simon Reynolds.
On the subject of music and libraries, check out this Library Mix Tape selection.
So, next time you’re wandering down Church Street, pop in with some ID and join up! As well as opening up a world of free reading, you’ll be adding valuable support to a great service that we’ll sorely miss if it disappears.
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