Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Author Spotlight - Toni Noel talks about today's libraries
Our libraries are in real trouble. A shortage of funding. Budget cuts. Shortened hours. Some doors permanently locked.
My granddaughter came to visit during spring break. She loves for me to read to her, and is crazy about children's videos, so after lunch one day I took her to the library to check out a few.
The doors were locked. I had to step over 6 teenage couples making out on the covered porch to reach the door and read the small sign displaying the library's hours.
Closed Mondays, and not open most mornings.
Our existing libraries represent a big investment of taxpayer's money, not just in books, but in videos, magazines and newspapers, computers with online capability for the cardholder's use, and all of it wasted when the doors remain closed. Our branch library is surrounded on three sides by senior citizen complexes whose residents spend most of their waking hours in the library. At least they did.
On hot days in Southern California elderly residents are urged to seek shelter in the library to stay cool. Most day that won't be possible this summer. Once their next in line on the librarian's signup sheet, the unemployed, and our city has many, can apply for jobs and send out resumes on line for the entire twenty minutes of their computer time. That means sending out 4 or 5 resumes if they type fast, but not if the doors are locked. These are jobless people without cars.
Is this happening in your neighborhood too? Are your schools, recreation centers and libraries feeling the brunt of the budget cuts? If the answer is yes, it's time you take a stand.
It's time for the younger generation to take a stand. City officials get tired of listening to senior citizens complain. I've had my turn. Thirty years ago I pestered the City Council until my (closed on Mondays branch library was finally built. I'm seventy-eight-years-old now and no longer able to take a stand, but young mothers whose toddlers enjoy the library's weekly story hour can and should. The parents of teens locked out of the library during spring break can, and should.
You can, and should.
Please leave a comment on this DBP sight to show someone else besides me cares about the future of our libraries.
And visit my blog for more on this subject: http://www.toninoelauthor.com/contact.html