Monday, June 28, 2010
Carol Fitzgerald, and Others, Speak Up for Libraries
Link to June 28 Huffington Post, "Libraries and Librarians Are Endangered Species: What You Can Do to Help".
Excerpt: Residents, young and old, told stories about what the local library meant to them.
The council heard about story time from young children and their mothers. They heard from students who pored over the stacks for summer reading, research and book report projects, and from seniors who read the paper in the comfy chairs in the periodical section. They learned that the Italian Club meets there, and the Cooking Club, and that there is a Knitting Knitch group that gathers a crowd each week.
The council expected to hear from the book clubs that meet there or get their suggestions from the librarians; they did not expect to hear the massive circulation numbers on audio books, videos and periodicals. And in a township where the median income for a family is $94,475, they did not expect to hear people of all ages talking about library's computers --- and saying that this was their only access to the Internet.
As petitions were signed, one opinion dominated --- not one person supported closing the library. People were united, a rarity in local politics; the library needed to stay open. The politicians couldn't miss that message, and so, on the subsequent council vote, only one councilman opposed keeping the library open.