It all began on Sunday when Andre Walker, U.K. political correspondent and columnist for the New York Observer, responded to a tweet by English author and illustrator Cressida Crowell ("Public libraries and libraries in primary schools are closing. How are children from low income families to become readers for pleasure?") with his own provocative post: "Nobody goes to libraries anymore. Close the public ones and put the books in schools." He then upped the ante with: "I know this makes Librarians angry but shutting libraries and putting the books into schools would be an absolute good." And "Librarians are like French teachers. These jobs exist in order to pay the wages of sad people who can't get proper work."
Never mess with librarians and their fans.
On Tuesday, Walker tweeted "Dear #Library users, I surrender!" and included a Facebook screenshot: "Dear (and I can't believe I'm saying this) all 110,000 people who replied to my tweet about libraries. Your sheer numbers have proved the point that libraries aren't as unpopular as I believed this morning! Please stop replying!!!"
He noted in one if his Twitter comments: "To be fair I can't help but feel the people that set out to prove to me that libraries are popular have succeeded!"
The Society of Authors even weighed in: "We can't condone chasing anti-library campaigners through the streets with sticks until they capitulate, but, I mean, it does seem to work."