Saturday, June 23, 2012

Authors and poets call halt to book pulping at Manchester Central Library

Melvin Burgess, author of Junk
The campaign to stop book-pulping at Manchester Central Library is being led by Melvin Burgess, author of Junk. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

The poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and a host of other literary names have joined calls to halt the destruction of hundreds of thousands of books at one of the UK's greatest municipal libraries. They have written to the head of libraries for Manchester, demanding that the book pulping stop immediately.
Manchester Central Library is in the midst of a £170m, three-year restoration of its elegant domed and porticoed building, built in the Great Depression as a symbol of hope. A vast circular inscription from Proverbs exhorts citizens to "exalt wisdom and she shall promote thee".
Campaigners describe the pulping of at least 210,000 non-fiction books as "cultural vandalism on an industrial scale". They point out that the book collections are as important as the fabric of the building. The letter describes the collection stored in the stacks under the library as an invaluable resource not just for the north-west but for the whole country, rivalled only by the British Library in Camden, north London.
Those who have signed the letter include the writer Jackie Kay, poet Michael Symmonds Roberts, poets Simon Armitage, John Cooper Clark and Mike Garry, and the novelist Jeanette Winterson. Former Hacienda DJ and author Dave Haslam and Tony Warren, the creator of Coronation Street, are also signatories.
Full story at The Guardian

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