I have read this edited version of a lecture by Neil Gaiman several times since it was published last Monday. You may have read it too, but it's too important to just read it and forget it. I've printed a hard copy and posted some key quotes right by my writing desk. Here are my favourite quotes:
"If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future."
"It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing; an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different."
"We have an obligation to understand and to acknowledge that as writers for children we are doing important work, because if we mess it up and write dull books that turn children away from reading and from books, we've lessened our own future and diminished theirs."
Neil Gaiman, The Guardian, October 15, 2013