IN his article about the new Laidlaw Library at the University of Leeds, Neil Hudson (YEP, December 10) observes that “unlike most libraries” it will “have few quiet areas”.
Hmm. I wonder how many libraries Mr Hudson has visited of late: few are quiet.
He goes on to eulogise that “it will re-define what a new library is supposed to do.” Supposed by whom, pray? Ah yes, of course, the modernists.
Having wreaked havoc upon the state education system, in which both schools and universities have been comprehensively comprehensivised, it was inevitable that the modernists would meddle with that last oasis of deep study and calm and quiet reflection – the library.
There was a time, not so long ago, when universities were bastions of scholarship and research; but that was before they were transformed into glorified job centres.
And one loses track of the superfluity of chairs in our burgeoning universities.
Mr Hudson strives manfully to reassure old fuddy-duddy traditionalists like me that these bold and brash new libraries are really all to the good; the head librarian at Leeds University, Stella Butler, contends that they reflect new ways of collaborative learning in communal meeting spaces.
No fear of disturbance, distraction or digressing in such a building buzzing with conversation!
In order to master a subject, one has to engage in periods of deep and sustained study and research. It is laborious. It calls for personal commitment, application and discipline. It is not a social occasion.
And in the process, the good student must surely recognise the traditional value of good library books – and the enduring virtue of quiet and studious reflection.
William Snowden, Baildon
House of chaos
It will be a sad day for Britain if we get an English-only Parliament. The Tories have an in-built majority of MPs in Parliament which can never be overturned.
This means a non-Tory government would never be able to pass any legislation and we would end up with a shambles, much like the present coalition which has had to tone down most of its policies in order not to upset its Liberal partner to such an extent that nothing but misery has been achieved.
Mel Smart, Farsley
LEEDS City Council are having to make cuts in their budget.
Can I suggest getting rid of a couple of their councillors who are well past their sell by date?
V Bedford, Pudsey