World Book Day 2019: The world's most beautiful libraries

Even if you're not a book lover, these photos will make you want to save your local library

Thursday 07 March 2019 09:00
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'Bibliotheque du Senat, Paris, 2012' by Franck Bohbot
'Bibliotheque du Senat, Paris, 2012' by Franck Bohbot

The UK’s public library service is facing what children’s author Alan Gibbons has called the “greatest crisis in its history”, with nearly 350 libraries closing their doors in the past six years.

Some 8,000 jobs have been axed over the same time period with 100 more library closures planned this year, Freedom of Information requests by the BBC confirmed.

Councils are legally obligated to provide libraries with free book loans, but their cuts are often triggered by central government funding restrictions. Many libraries remaining open are suffering from cutbacks in other ways, such as reduced opening hours, staffing and maintenance.

Libraries are much more than buildings full of books - they are places to relax and escape manic reality, if only for a little while. There are some beautiful libraries around the world, many with stunning architecture to admire whether you are a book lover or not.

Library supporters across the country have been setting up petitions and protest groups to fight the cuts. If you want to get involved, contact your local councillor to let them know why libraries are so important and check on social media for campaigns to join.

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