"However the terms change, in these visions, the place where books are read, acquired or received remains constant. Even that most cinematic of novels, “A Clockwork Orange,” begins and ends in the Public Biblio. Writers foresaw space travel, time travel, virtual reality and, endlessly, the book’s demise; what they never seem to have imagined was that the libraries housing those dying volumes might themselves disappear. After a year in which 2,600 public library branches cut back their hours, some readers will need to walk a lot farther than the length of a street. I’m still waiting for the public library aeroplane."