Library Cards Without Libraries? How About Unicorns, Too?

In News by Dennis Abrams

Chris White Author

After the UK government suggested all 8-year-olds get library cards, author Chris White countered with a letter lamenting the lack of library funds.

By Dennis Abrams

In the UK, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has called for all eight year olds to be enrolled in their local public library. But given government cuts that have resulted in many libraries being closed and others being forced to operate for limited hours, many have asked what’s the point?

Author Chris White is one such person.

For what it’s worth, here’s my email to Nicky Morgan regarding her fantastic idea to get every child to join a library … sigh.

Hello Nicky,

My name is Chris White. I’m a children’s writer and illustrator. I spend a lot of my time visiting libraries trying to inspire young people and give them a love of reading (if you need these concepts explained, then just let me know).

Sorry, I should say I USED to spend time visiting libraries. This is the first summer for 15 years that I haven’t visited any. It’s mostly because all the libraries I used to work in are now closed. The ones that are open have no money for events, they have to save it for things like, oh y’know, books. Or they don’t have enough staff to put events on as they have mostly been made redundant. So no kids shows this summer.

Which brings me to your brilliant idea for library cards for kids. Excellent idea! That should keep ’em amused!

“Here’s a library card Sarah, now don’t come home until you’ve used it”

“But Muuuum, the nearest library is 85 miles away and it’s only open from 10:30 until 11-00”

Yes, I like it. Hours of fun for the child! Ask them to pop into Woolworths on the way back for a packet of Rolos. That’ll really confuse them.

I look forward to your policy for a free unicorn for the under 12’s.

Congratulations, you have killed libraries.

Yours in Disgust,
Chris White

Chris White’s latest book, the monumentally epic (or epically monumental) Robots vs Princesses vs Unicorns vs Hamsters was published this month by Mogzilla Books

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.