Happy, Happy! Now go check out a book!

12 Apr

Neil Gaiman supports libraries!

Happy National Library Week to my friends and colleagues! What better spokesperson to have than the lovely and talented Neil Gaiman, author of the Newbery-award-winning Graveyard Book, among other spectacular reads? He’s also an entertaining and informative twitterer; follow him if that’s your thing (@neilhimself).

Now that we’ve indulged in pleasantries, I want to remind all of you that this is a VERY IMPORTANT TIME (VIT) to advocate for your local public library.  Libraries are busier than ever, especially in this difficult economic time, and funding has NOT kept pace with the increase in business.  However, when our elected officials look for an easy cut to their budgets, libraries are one of the first things considered.  Cutting library funding leads to reduced hours, closed branches, and cancelled programming.  While some may think this isn’t a big deal, when the library is the only place you have free access to a computer and you need to apply for a job online, this is  HUGE deal.  We help people find the information they need to apply for unemployment. We provide a place for the AARP to offer tax help to seniors.  We provide free early literacy programming for children, to help them get ready to learn how to read.  We provide a community meeting place.  In fact, the library is the HEART of a community.

What’s that you say? You can get everything you need on the internet? Sure you can, if you 1)have a computer at home and 2)have internet access at home and 3)know how to wade through all the misinformation out there on the web to find the accurate and reliable stuff (seriously, I read an article from a guy about the demise of libraries who said he could get everything he needed from wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers. Yikes.).  Libraries can take care of 1, 2, and 3 for those on the other side of the digital divide.

Plus, did I mention FREE BOOKS?

Look, I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, as the seven (if I’m lucky) people who read this blog already know how important libraries are. But I’ve learned that if we (librarians and fans of libraries) don’t advocate for ourselves, nobody will. So get out there and talk to anyone and everyone who’ll listen about how busy the library is, and how it’s changed lives. Because we know it has.

Now, who brought the cake?

2 Responses to “Happy, Happy! Now go check out a book!”

  1. missmaryliberry April 12, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    Thank you, Heather! I know I can always count on you to advocate for libraries!

    You can advocate any time, any where. Talk to your state and local representatives, especially; ask them to think twice before cutting funding. Often there’s simply a lack of understanding about what libraries are NOW; people still have a vision of the quiet places people went to read books. Libraries (as you know) are about so much more now, but those who don’t use them don’t realize it.

  2. Heather Boylan April 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Mary – what you write is piognant, elegant, and spot-on. Thank you for sharing your gift and experiences:) Our local libraries are more relevant than ever, and yet we continue to cut hours, librarians, etc. To whom do we advocate?

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