The UK has many national treasures besides the Crown Jewels–the Queen, the National Health Service, Wimbledon, fish and chips–scrapping any of these would be unthinkable, yet there's another national treasure that's constantly under threat–our public libraries.
    I loved going to the library as a child. It never worried me that I was expected to be quiet, I was too enthralled by all the worlds I could enter on the shelves, even though the nearest library was little bigger than my living room. The mobile library came to the village primary school, and I was privileged to be one of the children that the headteacher chose to pick which books the school would have for the next term. I can remember some of them still.
    Libraries are havens from the hurly burly of life outside, a welcome break from work at lunchtime, a place to browse through information you can rely on and discover topics and lives you never knew existed. There's peace to study and write, and local information that will never make it to the net, notices of local events, clubs and groups. There are knowledgeable librarians to guide your search for information and suggest books you might be interested in, saving time and frustration and introducing you to authors you might never discover otherwise. Plus, there are talks, signings, storytelling and much more. All this is free, so everyone, no matter what their background or interests can take advantage of everything they have to offer.
    Libraries are places that allow you to travel to exotic places or fight supervillains in safety and comfort. You can keep the Crown Jewels, but libraries are priceless.