Browne warns "society will pay" for library closures

The outgoing Children's Laureate Anthony Browne has warned society "will pay the price in the long term" for closing school and public libraries.

In a letter to his successor, Browne urged them to campaign against their closure. Browne said: "Do everything you can to support libraries – God knows, they need every bit of help they can get nowadays. I find it incredible and outrageous that public and school libraries are being forced to close – we'll all pay the price in the long term."

Browne's letter, which was reported in the Independent, also said the incoming laureate should champion causes they feel passionate about. He said: "Inspiring passion in children for books, and the world of imagination and creativity fuelled by them, is a fundamental reason for why the Children's Laureate post exists."

Meanwhile, His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman has reiterated his support for public libraries, saying they are “one of the greatest benefits of civilisation”.

Speaking to Wales Online, Pullman said society had gone from an approach of post-war altruism to one where everything was measured and assessed by cost. He said: "This approach is tearing apart the invisible bonds of duty and loyalty, belonging and togetherness in the name of an ideology that nothing is more important than money."