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13 March 2015

Stevenson Champions Importance of Libraries

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, demonstrated his support of local and national libraries in a Scottish Parliament debate yesterday (Thursday) on the importance of the public service they provide.

Mr Stevenson, a self-confessed bookaholic highlighted the importance of libraries in the light of recent terrorist atrocities, saying:

“It is no accident that one of the first things that totalitarian regimes and extremists generally go for is books and libraries. ISIS has destroyed 100,000 books in Mosul in recent weeks. In April 2003, the national library and archive of Iraq—hundreds of thousands of books—was all but lost.”

Books can be targets in any conflict and Mr Stevenson mentioned the invading Japanese destroying more than a million books and documents in China during WWII, and the Nazi book burnings in the 1930s.

He added:

“Books can be radical and extreme and they are highly varied. We should value them in all their variety, because they tell us about where we come from and inform us about where we are going.”

Mr Stevenson praised the local libraries in Buckie and Fraserburgh where he holds regular surgeries and the National Library of Scotland as an invaluable resource for his interest in genealogy.
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