Writing in the Los Angeles Times, decrying possible library budget cuts, movie star and author Julie Andrews speaks powerfully on the value of books, reading and libraries:
I have witnessed firsthand the crucial role our libraries play in providing free access for children and adults alike in the realms of learning and literacy. Public libraries are our great teachers and storytellers, and are a vital adjunct to our schools. In this day of standardized and homogenized education, a library offers individual and personalized learning opportunities second to none.This is another perspective on where we, as a society, find value. We can demonstrate a good return on investment. But the value of libraries doesn't end there.
Perhaps most important, libraries offer a powerful antidote to the isolation of the Internet, providing connection, support and community. Rather than wading in a solitary fashion through the morass of potential misinformation available on the Net, the student who conducts his or her explorations at a library has safe, professional guidance in his or her search for good books and accurate information.