Sunday, April 25, 2010


Due to budget cuts, they will probably be closing the library closest to our home, and the one where I attend book club.  I will admit, I have personal reasons for disliking the proposal.  We go to story time at the library closest to our home almost every week.  I've attended book club for at least three years.  There are other libraries and my kids will be going to kindergarten soon.

Public libraries are important institutions.  Before there was the internet, libraries were the best reliable source of information.  My library has the highest circulation in the area  - and there are always people on the various pc's.  I always see people meeting in the meeting rooms, learning to read, learning new languages.  It is a community center. 

I trust I don't need to break out quotes from founding  fathers about the importance of libraries, books and the free flow of information. 

I support my local library in re-evaluating their priorities.  I firmly believe in living within your means.

But my city also contracts with some local sports teams.  It's not even a question if the sports teams throw their weight around, asking for millions more. They get what they ask for.  Or for a new, state of the art stadium.  They have a blank check to get anything their hearts' desire. 

I am a fan of some of the local sports teams, and it's true that they are good for some businesses.  But it is so difficult for me to read about teachers being laid off and libraries being closed while sports teams are getting bailouts. 

I question what our priorities are.  In twenty years, after an extensive investment in a local sports team, what do we have?  Perhaps some national championships - lots of people who've been employed and those who have attended great games. 

With libraries and schools, we can have a more educated populace; we support tools for life-long learning. 

I don't understand why libraries and schools always seem to come up short when the chips are down.  They don't have trophies or rings.  But we have people who are better equipped to live their lives. 

We can't preach self- reliance to communities and then take away the tools they have to become better people and more educated citizens.


Freckle Face Girl said...

Amen!!!! - Do you live in Miami??? Just kidding. You are so right.

I grew up loving our weekly trips to the library especially during the summer. It is sad that education and the overall good gets shoved aside for immediate agendas & money. –very shortsighted.

laura said...

Grr, grr, grr. Granted, as a librarian, I'm biased, but as you probably know, when I lived in your city, it had the highest infant mortality rate in the country, and the mayor was still more focused on sports.

Aerin said...

Thanks FFG. I agree it's short-sighted. I hope that some sort of compromise can be made.

Thanks laura. I don't know about the highest infant mortality rate here, in 2010, but there are lots of issues. Not that libraries and schools can solve all these issues, but at least they're working in that direction.