save our libraries
Does it not say a lot about our society when we have to fight to save our libraries?
When I was young, the library was a weekly ritual. A bus came on Saturdays, stopped right at the corner in front of my house, and took us to the library. I spent all day there, thumbing through books, writing reports, doing research and sometimes attending the storytimes and special events they had.
On Wednesdays we had the bookmobile with Mr. Bill at the wheel. Bookmobiles have come and gone and my kids have no idea that such a thing even existed. And now, libraries may be headed for the same extinction.
The internet will never replace the physicality of the library. Sure, you can find all the information you need for your footnotes and bibliography and research with your mouse and keyboard. But what can replace the feel of a book? The quiet calm of the libary? The reference librarian who is so easily thrilled when he helps you find that elusive reference book?
Public libraries all over America are being forced to cut their hours and services. It's become an alarming trend for cities and town to turn to their libary first when it comes time to crunch the budget.
"Librarians and our users cannot afford to be quiet about drastic cuts forcing libraries to close their doors earlier, lay off experienced library staff, eliminate periodical collections and reduce programs and services," Freedman said. "These cuts are deeper than those sustained even in the Great Depression, and they are affecting library services in schools, college and university campuses and communities everywhere."
In California, Governer Davis has cut library funding in half. As if that's not enough, Davis has the grand idea of charging patrons to take out books. That goes against everything the public library is about.
It's been noted that when the economy goes down, public library usership goes up. Public libraries offer for free what some people would not otherwise get.
Who wants to live in a world without libraries? I never thought I would see the day when libraries and their services would be considered expendable.
What a shame.
(all links via Save Our Libraries)