This article gave me interesting pause for thought. I wonder if our truism that the way to sustain things in rural places is to join them up might not work in every example? The story tells us:

Libraries are struggling because they are “trying to do too much” by becoming community centres that offer yoga classes and iPads rather than focusing on books, the former managing director of Waterstones has said.

Tim Coates criticised the “hopeless” direction libraries in the UK have taken over the past 20 years, attributing their declining use to the industry’s obsession with “rigging them out” with the latest technology and trendy activities.

His comments come after recent research revealed that UK public and school library use is less than half of that in the US because “America stuck to just providing books,” he said.

Mr Coates, who was also the managing director of WhSmith, said British libraries have “lost direction”, adding: “The library profession has got too hung up on how important it is as a ‘social force’ and it is a terrible mistake.

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