The Library is Lost: what to read next?
Louisville Ky Mayor Fischer is closing down public libraries because of budget shortfalls. So what next?
A library is more than just a place that has books. It is a place where the community can come and meet face to face. It is a place where children can learn, where they can do something productive with their summer downtime. So the real tragedy of Louisville losing its libraries is that the children of the future will not have a safe place to go to read, to interact, and to imagine.
Libraries are important
Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a strong supporter of libraries as community builders, addressed librarians saying, “Unless you are out there changing neighborhoods, you are not completing the work you are to do.”
Neighborhoods become stronger because of libraries. They are champions of culture, arts, history, science, and education. Without the world loses a bright light that shines like a beacon brightening the lives of everyone they touch.
Libraries all over the country are struggling
The libraries closing in Louisville are just the tip of the iceberg sadly. Libraries all over the country are struggling with shrinking budgets and competition with growing technologies. They are becoming undervalued, lost in the noise, as technology makes a good book or a streaming video available at every person's fingertips.
Are libraries becoming obsolete?
“I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country under regulations as would secure their safe return in due time.” Thomas Jefferson - Letter to John Wycke 1809
In the past libraries have been bustling centers of activity. They have provided a great place of billions of visitors to utilize all kinds of services. They can, of course, borrow a good book, but in addition to this many libraries offer computer and internet access to people who otherwise would not have the means. People search for employment, find government benefits, apply for college, do their homework, make doctor appointments, and even apply for citizenship.
In conclusion, I believe that libraries are more critical than ever to the healthy life of a city, so I hope that Louisville will find a way to keep their libraries open. Louisville and every other city in America needs its libraries. It is time to get inspired, look for creative solutions, and find a way to keep libraries open for the good of the community.