In the current economic death spiral, my public library system, like many others, is facing cutbacks in materials, hours, and ahem staff. The irony is that public libraries are never more important then when times are bad. People come for Internet access to look for jobs, submit applications, and rewrite their résumés. Students find a place to study and work where you don’t have to spend five bucks on a cup of coffee. Book lovers borrow a few more books, instead of buying. English language learners join conversation groups to improve their communication.
Parents bring their children for storytimes, book groups, puppet shows, science programs entertainment on a tight budget. Together they browse the shelves, read on the couches, and get away from the house. They leave with armloads of books and hours of something-to-do. And it’s all free.
I was going through some very old saved emails and found this video tribute to libraries. I haven’t thought of it in a while, though now that the song is back in my head I probably won’t be able to think of anything else. There’s better quality at the original site, but I had to embed it here for your viewing pleasure. The animation is a bit odd, but the message couldn’t be better.