Consider Saving the Library

A few weeks ago, I somewhat Venn diagrammed the differences between the various library cards in my wallet.   Given the massive cuts to our public education system, these library cards represent an exceedingly rare acknowledgment from our government that having an educated populace is indeed a desirable goal.

… or not.  As if throwing up barriers to getting a decent education in this state weren’t enough, our fair city now is contemplating enormous cuts to our local libraries.  In light of everything else, this seems to be particularly cruel: it’s not enough that you have to contend with less (public education, social services, etc.), you have to contend with less of the already few things that feed your mind and soul.  If the LA City Council’s proposal to slice into the library’s already stretched budget goes through, we’ll be looking at shortened hours, branch closures (probably in the communities that need the library the most, but I digress), fewer new books – the list rambles on and on.  Save the Library and Los Angeles Public Library supporters* both are organizing petitions on their respective websites to encourage those of us who like access to our books to protest the cuts.  In addition, attend the City Council meeting on the 24th – not only do you get to use one of those cute golf pencils to complete a speaker card, you can give those members a piece of your bookworm mind.

Photo courtesy dogwelder via the Metblogs Flickr pool.

* Kim Cooper points out in the comments that the site is not actually an official site of the LAPL.

5 Replies to “Consider Saving the Library”

  1. That’s a pic of the old, abandoned canoga park library near where I live. It always breaks my heart to see it there; I used to be there all the time as a child.

  2. Thanks for the shout out, but SaveLAPL.org is not an official site of the Los Angeles Public Library, just something that my husband Richard and I threw together two years ago, the last time the city went after the library with deep proposed budget cuts and a $1/book interbranch loan fee, and that we’ve revived to respond to the present crisis.

    We have received such lifelong pleasure from LAPL, and do so much of the research that goes into our Esotouric tours and time travel blogs like 1947project, On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land in its branches and on its databases, that we felt we had to do something to help if we could.

    Last time around, the Budget & Finance Committee responded very favorably to far fewer voices than have already been raised in the combined campaigns (one-click email messages to City Council & Mayor on our site, petitions and letters organized by Save the Library, and public comment at multiple meetings at City Hall). So I am hopeful that they will again listen to the voice of the people and not make the threatened 11% cuts.

    But I also think it’s terrible that every couple of years the community is terrorized by threats of unjust assaults on the public library, and that tens of thousands of people have to take time out of their lives to remind our elected officials of what’s right. Libraries should be last on the list when cuts are made. I don’t know what it’s going to take to drill that into the City Council and Mayors’ heads so it stays there.

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