Letter: British Library

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I was alarmed to read in David Lister's report ("Why the British Library won't get a panning", 23 June") that the principle of free access will end. The magnificent new building at St Pancras at last provides excellent conditions for both readers and the collections. It is surely not beyond the wit of government, having provided the capital, now to provide the revenue to ensure free access for the many, as opposed to charged access for the few. The British Library is vital for the creation of intellectual capital on which this country's culture and economy depends. Surely we cannot be considering jeopardising that role for the sake of the small amounts of money the introduction of charges would realise?

ROSS SHIMMON

Chief Executive

The Library Association

Ridgmount Street,

London

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