Preston pub quiz takes the library battle to a new front

Around 150 residents took part

The pressure was on as around 150 residents competed to be crowned pub quiz champions at a benefit to raise money for the fight to save the libraries.

With our thinking caps firmly on (and smart phones tucked away) a group of reporters and photographers from the Times went along to try out exhibit our worldly knowledge.

As journalists whose trade is reading and writing, surely we would do well?

The quiz was tough. Eight gruelling rounds of general knowledge (or not so general as he case may be) had many team members scratching their heads.

But while some questions were tricky, the topic balance meant that there was something for everyone, and after a a poor start we had a mid quiz surge. But ended with a mid table score.

The determination of residents to continue the battle to save their six libraries was summed up by one of the audience – Deborah Moggach, the author of the bestseller Tulip Fever.

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She told the Times: “Nothing arouses people’s emotions like libraries because they are a source of enormous knowledge and closing them is a death knell to peoples’ prospects of educating themselves.

“I have known many people whose lives have been completely transformed by libraries. Browsing libraries with their experienced staff is how many people develop their curiosity and imagination.”

The author, who has been involved in the fight to keep open Camden’s libraries, warned that the closure of libraries combined with the growth of online reading and ebooks will leave people increasingly isolated.

She added: “They enable people to come together and have contacts with people as well as books. Ebooks are fine but we are encouraging this isolated life. We are getting very fragmented and losing our sense of community.”

Ms Moggach said the campaign to save libraries in Brent was an inspiration to battles across the UK.

The quiz was put on by the Save Preston Library campaign. It raised more than �500 for the Brent SOS libraries campaign.