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Biblioteche e archivi: countdown to extinction

Gerardo de Simone, Emanuele Pellegrini

During the past year, each institution and industry in the cultural sector has been trying to react to the tragic situation caused by the pandemic. Different solutions have been adopted, but of course not all categories (theatres, cinemas, museums, performing arts, archives and libraries) have been affected in the same way. In many cases, the endemic problems of cultural institutions such as lack of funds and insufficient staff got even worse during the repeated lockdowns. Progressive staff reduction and budget cuts distressed libraries and archives in particular, exposing them to shrinking opening hours and services to the public, even to a prospected permanent closure. Men of letters, scholars and society as a whole must be aware of the present situation and take action in order to find solutions which cannot be delayed.