It saddens me to hear so much press about libraries facing budget cuts and even closures. I fully believe in fiscal responsibility, but I also realize what a treasure libraries are, especially for those who cannot afford to freely spend on books, magazines, dvds, and even computers. I also believe free libraries are a keystone to a free country. Ben Franklin believed it; Andrew Carnegie gave away millions and millions of his fortune to make sure that American towns had library buildings.
We need leaders today who see that see that same value. The look of the library may be changing ( some people may get their materials via electronic devices), but I believe that libraries are as relevant as ever. The need for professionals who help people navigate the expanse of information is needed even more today than before. The people who don't visit their local libraries and see what programs they offer or don't realize what they can borrow are just losing out. I truly believe government officials, instead of wanting to cut funding, should be out promoting what the libraries do as a way of showing citizens (taxpayers) that they can get positive results for their contributions. I know of libraries that sponsor workshops on budgeting, wills, estate planning, and such. The cost to put these on is minimal, but if another government agency put together such a program, I can guarantee the overhead would be significantly greater. That's just one tiny example of what libraries can do.
If you stop by this blog more than once, you will probably find me rambling on about libraries again sometime. Thanks for reading, and if you haven't been to your local library lately, GO!! And if you can, take a child with you!