Philip Pullman recently delivered a passionate speech at an Oxfordshire library campaigners' meeting against the plans to stop funding nearly half of Oxfordshire 43 libraries. The speech resonated across the web, becoming a "viral sensation".
The speech (full transcript) takes aim at Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles and leader of the Oxfordshire city council Keith Mitchell, calling their plans of handing over Libraries to volunteers "patronising nonsense" and cutbacks the result of "the greedy ghost of market madness". He closed off saying "Leave the libraries alone. You don’t know the value of what you’re looking after. It is too precious to destroy."
To His Dark Materials devouts the speech is even more interesting because Philip Pullman also hints at the Book of Dust, saying that he is in the process of writing the book and that he used the Central Library to find out where all the rivers and streams in Oxford ran. Hold your horses people, still no release date as of yet, but it definitely renewes hope!