Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friends of the Dallas Public Library Board Chairman Speaks Out

Link to August 31 op-ed piece in Dallas Morning News, "David Kusin: In defense of our city's 'information brain'".

Excerpt: Unfortunately, the current draft of the Dallas city budget would effectively lobotomize the institution by cutting its already lean materials budget by 66 percent. More alarming still is the poor budget prognosis for the following budget year, during which these cuts would be sustained. Such a reduction will induce what amounts to institutional coma.

Even though some of the initially proposed cuts to library hours have been restored, that improvement will provide cold comfort to patrons when valuable materials – online job search databases, for instance – are no longer available. While such budgetary tinkering may provide "feel good" politics, it fails to preserve the core function of our free public library.

The fate of our greatly beloved library now lies in the hands of the Dallas City Council. Fortunately, it seems that some council members are beginning to understand what sustaining this treasure is worth versus the long-term cost of letting it wither. Will all their colleagues on the council join them? We'll know soon, won't we?

Friends of the Dallas Public Library on Facebook.

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