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Nicky Wire on library closures

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James McLaren James McLaren | 09:18 UK time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire has launched a savage attack on plans to close libraries in an impassioned piece for today's Guardian.

Nicky Wire

Nicky Wire

The Blackwood band has long been vocal about their support for libraries and the importance they place on libraries' influence on Welsh working classes, especially in mining areas. They opened Cardiff's new Central Library in 2009, and had the opening lyrics to A Design For Life - "Libraries gave us power" - inscribed on a commemorative plaque. The phrase was adapted from "Knowledge is Power", an inscription above the entrance to the former Pillgwenlly Library in Newport.

In the piece, Wire says: "So often absolutely ordinary in appearance, a good library should offer escape routes down the most extraordinary avenues, pathways into different worlds from the one you've left outside. Ridding our villages, towns and cities of libraries, which are essential in shaping a nation's consciousness, seems like a direct attack on the soul of the country.

"We need to cherish these things while they still exist. Seek solace, seek knowledge. Seek power."

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