The following has been kindly typed in and sent to me.  It’s from a recent copy of Viz.  It’s supposed to funny but it also has a disturbing basis in fact.  By, at best, showing benign neglect, this Government is moving down a path which will lead to the end of the superb system of public libraries that this country was once so proud of.  I would, by the way, like now to completely dissociate myself from the Third Reich overtones of the piece.
There’s also, more obviously, something else at play here.  This is the belief that printed books now have no place in the modern world and thus closing libraries is OK and that passing on the supply of books to what amounts to a technological and commercial monopoly is fine.  It is ignored that this would limit access to those who have the access to internet (that’s one-fifth of the country excluded) and can easily afford to buy anything they need.  People with money enough for books, admittedly quite large but it would be a fool to say that it is ever going to be all the population.  Indeed, the current proportion of the population with sufficient funds appears to be getting smaller, not larger … and, of course, children are always those most in need of books but with the least resources to purchase them.
It’s also interesting seeing in the following that the librarians are described as supporting the process.  There’s an element of truth in this.  I know of many professionals who think the future will be entirely digital and that we are in some sort of almost embarrassing transitional time.  We’re not of course.  It’s not a case of books vs. ebooks.  It’s a case of a new complementary medium coming into the market.  Television did not kill radio.  Paperbacks did not kill hardbacks.  There will always be a place for books in our society.  Unless, that is, our politicians and professionals sleepwalk into such a nightmare world by thinking that there isn’t.
Anyway, read and enjoy… 
Printed works set to go up in smoke in libraries re-think
BRITISH LIBRARIES are set to burn ALL their books after a government think-tank deemed them “old-fashioned”, “out-moded” and “behind the times”. Giant pyres will soon become a common sight in every town centre as stocks of obsolete volumes built up over hundreds of years are put to the torch.
“The rise of the internets has left the printed word looking hopelessly antiquated in the modern world,” said Universities minister David Willetts. “Look around any first class railway carriage and everyone’s got a google, a mobile telephone or a youtube. If you got a book out and started reading it, you’d be pointed at and laughed off the train,” he added.
Jane Plainspinster, spokesperson for the Association of British Librarians told us: “Of course it’s sad to see all our old books going up in smoke, but most people who come into the library these days are here to use our internets, emails and websites.”
“The shelf space freed up by the destruction of books will be used for the storage of CD-roms, floppy discs and blogs,” she whispered.
“Shhhh,” she added, before removing her glasses, seductively biting the arm and shaking down her lustrous tresses of hair in slow motion.
LIBRARY PICTURE: A picture of an old-fashioned library, yesteryear.
Thousands of books are being piled up outside the British Library on London’s Euston Road, and Prime Minister David Cameron will be setting fire to them, using the Domesday Book as kindling. He told reporters: “All this stuff is available on the email these days. If I want to read a Shakespeare first folio, Dr Johnson’s Dictionary or the complete works of Jane Austen, I can just look them up on Twitter.”
“Paper books are for fuddy duddies. They’re just a dusty relic of the past, like Betamax video cassettes, wooly mammoths or Sinclair C5s,” he said.
The Euston Road pyre is already over 60 feet high, but only contains a small proportion of the British Library’s vast book collection. “Ninety percent of the stock is still in the building, so once we’ve got this lot ahad we’re going to need lots of volunteers to get in there and fetch books out to keep the flames fed,” said Mr Cameron.
“It’s going to be a real party atmosphere,” he added.
And Mr Cameron had this warning for any book-lovers with plans to disrupt his planned “Büchfeuernacht”: “Don’t stand in the way of progress or you will pay the price.”
“Anyone who attempts to spoil the fun will suffer very serious consequences, which will involve being taken away and dealt with,” he added.
(from Viz, Issue 212)