The author of world-renowned children’s novel War Horse has urged councillors to rethink their proposals to close 32 libraries across Lincolnshire.
Speaking ahead of receiving an honorary doctorate from Bishop Grosseteste University, Michael Morpurgo described libraries as the “heart of communities”.
And he said many of the 870 students graduating at Lincoln Cathedral on July 17 would have started their education with a trip to a library.
“My message to people making the decision is to think again and think hard,” he said.
“They are only thinking short term – they think they will get away with it and the public won’t be bothered. They are wrong, people do care.
“Libraries are how people fall in love with books.
“I know the argument is the internet is taking over but not everybody has the internet – a lot of older people don’t.
“You can access a range and depth of books in the library that you just can’t do on the internet.
“They are wonderful places for information and form parts of local communities.
“Books and libraries should be available to everyone regardless of their income.
“Libraries are the heart of communities. Jobs will also be lost and these are people that have served communities for decades.
“Councils say not enough people use them but the answer to that is more investment to make them better rather than close them.”
The former Children’s Laureate said returning to Lincoln for the ceremony was an honour and that he enjoyed
visiting the city again.
“It is always a huge honour to be recognised,” he said.
“University is a place of knowledge and education and I spent my life in education and writing books for young
“It is a wonderful thing to meet and talk to the graduates who are people who will go on to start their careers in that field.
“My links to Lincoln go back a long way. I am still the patron of the Lincoln Book Festival so I do visit quite often.
“It is terrible that I don’t have to do any work to be recognised when you have graduates who have grafted for three or four years to get their hat and gowns.
“However it is a lovely occasion and one I am proud to be a part of and I love coming back to Lincoln as often as possible.”