Letter: Library is a vital community hub

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I write in response to the really rather odd letter written by one ‘Dr Cederic [sic] Mugwort OBE’ about Thame library.

Now, forgive me, but surely this letter is satirical?

It must be a parody of some sort. Though admittedly, it would be funnier still if it indeed turned out to be a real letter by a real person.

Assuming that it is real, I am not exactly sure what point it is that ‘Dr Cederic [sic] Mugwort OBE’ is trying to make.

Underneath his tiresome, sanctimonious ramblings, all he really says is that he doesn’t like young mums and he doesn’t like children, and heaven forbid either of them be allowed into libraries in this day and age.

The offensive (yet unintentionally hilarious) line “mummies and their…ankle-biters do need to go out now and then” will surely not encourage many to sympathise with whatever cause he might be pursuing. For a man with a supposed doctorate he is oddly narrow-minded.

It is worrying that such a learned gentleman is unable to grasp what a public library actually is and the role it should play. (“…libraries should be public sanctums, humming with the deep, silent energy of the world’s knowledge…”). Perhaps he might be confusing Thame library with an academic institution such as the Bodleian or the Beinecke. Thame library is a public community library.

It is an important, social hub where people of all backgrounds and ages - parents and their children especially - are made to feel welcome. Like all such public spaces, it should be cherished.

Although they may not be perfect, imagine a society without its libraries.

J P Featherstone

Oxford