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Disgrifiad

Gladstone’s Library (formerly St Deiniol’s Library) is located in Hawarden, the North Wales village which four-times Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, made his home. The Library, founded in 1894, is recognised as a centre of excellence for studies in Victorian history and politics, international research and scholarship.

Victorian Prime Minister, W E Gladstone was an inveterate reader and collector of books. He was eager to share his personal collection with others, especially any constrained by finance. He would allow bright children and young adults of the village to freely borrow and read his books. His desire, his daughter Mary Gladstone said, was to "bring together books who had no readers with readers who had no books".

This clip was filmed in 2015. In that year, on grounds of austerity, the role and future of Flintshire's county library service was called into question by the local council and the prospect of branch library closures was the subject of much public interest and community concern. As a champion of life-long learning -and a registered "reader" at Gladstone's Library, local community archivist John Butler was curious to know what Mr Gladstone might have thought about any diminution of a vital intellectual resource.

With this in mind, he sought the views of someone closely connected with Mr Gladstone's passion for books and reading. Peter Francis, warden at Gladstone's Library Hawarden since 1997, was known to champion Mr Gladstone's aspirations and debate about liberal values in contemporary society.

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