Independent Online Edition > This Britain: "All public exhibitions would close, along with schools learning programmes. The permanent collection, which includes a copy of every book published in the UK, would be permanently reduced by 15 per cent. And the national newspaper archive, used by 30,000 people a year, including many researching their family trees, would close."
The great civilizations all had libraries, maybe not as a heart maybe more like a panaceas. Destroy your panaceas and with some help you can live a good long time, but you are not going to live quite the same again.
Libraries are the Institutional memories of our civilization. They are more important then most people recognize.
But few people read much anymore. Sure they surf the web and scan the newspaper and read a pertinent chapter from a book but rarely do we read whole books from front to book anymore. That is sad because as we stop reading, we stop thinking that the places where we keep our books are important. Soon they decay and are lost to us forever.
Google and Microsoft are both scanning books for all they are worth and that makes me very happy.
Few people would put the burning of the library of Alexandria as the start of the Dark Ages. By itself it wasn't but that it was not restored was a strong sign that dark times were coming.