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08/02/2011

Duration:
53 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 08 February 2011

Call You and Yours with Julian Worricker.

Are councils right to save money by closing public libraries - has the easy availability of affordable books made libraries less important than ever?

As local councils look for ways to save money, many have identified cuts in their public library services. These cuts have been vociferously opposed by a number of high profile authors as an attack on a vital educational service.

But are lending libraries really as essential as they once were? Supermarkets are selling popular novels at knock-down prices, bookshops offers 3 for 2 on a wide range of publications, paperbacks can be ordered online for the price of a takeaway meal, and books can be bought for tuppence from second hand shops. And now as online retailer Amazon reports sales of their e-reader made up more than 15% of their paperback sales last year in the US, are we wise to spend scarce public funds on our libraries?

But many libraries fulfil more needs than just reading. What does your library do for you? Could you live without it? How do you and your family access literature?

An opportunity to contribute your views to the programme. Email youandyours@bbc.co.uk or call 03700 100 444 (lines open at 10am).

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