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Michael Jecks: Libraries should not be free

28th June 2010

A Devon-based crime-fiction author has claimed that libraries should not be free for everyone.

Michael Jecks, author of a number of popular crime thrillers set in different historical eras, such as The Templar, the Queen and Her Lover and The Leper's Return, claims that only those on means-tested benefits and under-18s should be allowed to take books out for free.

He believes that everyone else should be charged 15p for the privilege.

'It doesn't matter whether it's this government or past governments, they've all been trying to reduce spending on libraries,' Jecks told the BBC.

He added: 'What I'd be thinking of is about 15p for book rental - it's not the sort of amount which is going to break anybody's bank.'

However, Stuart Barker, the Devon county councillor responsible for libraries, told the news provider that libraries are one of the few services that people actually get for the council tax they pay.

He added that they are particularly important in rural areas.

Jecks is a member of the Royal Literary Society and was previously the chairman of the Crime Writers' Association.

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