I heard the Mayor on the radio talking about libraries. He said ‘neighborhoods aren’t about buildings, they’re about people.’
Huh? The least of what describes libraries is buildings. Nearly 400 people didn’t pack the lecture hall of Boston’s main branch library because they want to preserve a building. Is the Mayor implying that one’s neighbors will read to your children? Will they buy you books if you’re laid off? Take in your elderly parents during the day? Let your kids use their computer if you can’t afford one?
How many folks making our budget cuts grew up relying on the library? How many of them realized that after-school, the library is often the only safe place in the world? How many have been old and lonely, and had the library as their sole source of entertainment.
On goodreads.com, a popular book site, they have book ‘giveaways.’ Looking at the five giveaways ending soonest there are almost 5,000 people competing to win copies of these five books.
Seems to me that people want to read and learn.
Are we consigning our struggling neighbors television to meet their social needs? Because your neighbors and my neighbors (and I have terrific neighbors) are not planning to provide pre-school story hours, newspaper reading rooms, or lending libraries.
Books are the backbone of culture. Our elders and poor aren’t walking around with Whispernet, downloading books unto their Kindles.
Is Boston too broke to let our poorer neighbors learn? Because it’s not the rich, or the children of the rich, or the solidly middle-class who need libraries in order to read, use the computer, research, have a warm and safe place to peruse the newspaper, have a destination for the elders, look for a job, meet other toddlers, and explore about the world outside their neighborhood. It’s the poor. It’s the working class. It’s anyone and everyone who struggles.
If neighborhoods are people, the people need a place to gather. Please protect our libraries.
About Randy Susan
Causes Randy Susan Meyers Supports
Women for Women
New England Home for Little Wanderers