Andy Burnham argues that "Libraries should be a place for families and joy and chatter. The word chatter might strike fear into the heart of traditionalists but libraries should be social places that offer an antidote to the isolation of someone playing on the internet at home." Tim Coates, the former managing director of Waterstones however criticised the potential plans. He said: "This ought to be about getting more reading books, particularly for children, not about turning libraries into fish and chip shops."
"Local libraries may have lost their original raison d'être," to serve "working class… autodidacts who could not afford the books they craved, at a time when books were really the only source of information," but "they can fashion another. They should give us what we really want: not scholarship, but friendship.