I’m back from my blogging hiatus this summer to share this story of a local library in my area that wants to expand. Of course, since this 2013 and the economy still sucks, the library can’t fund the project on its own and would need a tax increase or a seriously generous donor to get the project off the ground.
In the article, the school board voted to allow the question of whether or not to raise the library tax on this November’s voting ballots for municipal elections, effectively leaving the decision of whether or not to fund the project in the hands of the voters.
I’m all about democracy and I totally support allowing taxpayers decide how to spend their money, but that isn’t the point of why I’m sharing this article. What breaks my heart about this story are the comments underneath the article (you might have to search for the news outlet’s Facebook page to see most of them, for those who aren’t local. I’ll post the link if enough are interested!). So many residents in the community talk about how they don’t need libraries, and how the project is a waste of resources. It’s simply terrible.
Here is one gem from a user on Facebook: “Libraries are a waste of money in this day and age……who even brought this to the table…so they not have a smart phone???? or do they like wasting tax payers money”
Clearly, there is a deep need for literacy education in this soul.
Of course, there are some people who are passionately fighting for their beliefs. For example, another poster writes: “While our little library and the librarians are great, we cannot keep up with what libraries have become with the size of our library now. I cannot believe there are people saying libraries are unnecessary due to the Internet and smartphones. Sure you may be lucky with all that but there are still people without those amenities and the library is a place everyone can use the Internet for free. And ummm…books…have you ever heard of those??? Also, a human who is knowledgeable and can help you with whatever research you have.”
See the difference here between the person who supports the library and the one who doesn’t? Which one would you rather have working at your company? Teaching your child? In your group for a group project? Yeah, I thought so.
I frequent this library, and it truly has outgrown itself. There are always people there, and I go on Saturday mornings, Wednesday nights, and Friday afternoons – all throughout the week, really. I’m always squeezing past people in the shelves, and the waitlists for any book published in the last two years is at least 30 people long. You can never get on a computer because they’re always being used, and the library won’t even accept book donations because there is no room. I realize that money is a serious issue (believe me, I have firsthand knowledge) and perhaps the municipality can reallocate some funds to lesson the burden on taxpayers, but outright refusal to even support the idea of expansion of a library is a tragedy.