As someone who spends about 30 hours a week in the Brooklyn Public Library, I can say this: post-puberty, libraries are a weird scene. At the BK PL, I'm surrounded by the semi-homeless, the pseudo-studious and the fully religious. But over in England, it's a different situation. The British culture minister Margaret Hodge wants to make libraries hip places by putting in coffee bars and renting space at malls. Stuffy Brits who don't want to defile the respectability of their precious book temples just can't understand why public libraries are less popular than they were at their peak 1980. Um, it's called the internet, and it's destroying publishing. [Times of London]