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Daily Archives: February 7th, 2012

California has cut state funding to libraries. It’s an incredibly disheartening sign of the times. Libraries and other similar institutions are the unfortunate first victims of an economic downturn, despite the far too wise words of Eleanor Crumblehulme. She was absolutely right when she said that “Cutting libraries during a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.”

It’s come to my attention during my time as a library clerk that very few people realize the extent of the services that are offered, for free, by their public libraries. Yes, we have books. We’re so much more, though. Need information on homeschooling? We’v got that. Need help finding a job? We’ve got that. Tax info? Yup. Literacy? Why are you even asking if we offer that? Seriously. And that’s just within the Pikes Peak region. Imagine what the bigger libraries around the country are able to provide. We are the heart of learning, the core of self-improvement. If we can’t afford to spend money to buy new books (or if we’re stopping the heartless corporate machines that create mindless entertainment for the sake of money), where can we go? The library. If we want to see the latest DVD releases, but don’t want to spend the dollar for RedBox, where can we go? The library. Need a computer? Wi-fi? Learn a foreign language! Have someone proofread your résumé (help you spell résumé, or learn how to type é on your computer!). Need a study room? A conference room? We have those. Libraries provide resources to help the economy move again, and when the economy falters, we cut library funding. What the hell?

Do you want future generations to be able to read? Do you want them to understand what’s going on in the world around them? Do you want them to have access to important historical and cultural information so that they don’t make the same mistakes that we’ve made? I sure as hell do. Invest in America’s future. Invest in your local library.