Friday, May 22, 2009

Libraries Are America's Lifelines. Leave Them Alone

Posted a couple weeks ago - but this is a great article for library advocacy by Kenneth C Davis

Michael Bloomberg may be the ultimate IT Guy. Okay, maybe that's still Bill Gates. But the point is, Michael Bloomberg took Information and Technology and made himself an empire with Bloomberg News. Then he became King of New York -- or at least Mayor -- and a very good one at that, as far as I am concerned.

So why would a man who built his world around IT want to cripple New York's IT lifeline -- the public library?

In case you haven't heard, New York City's public library systems -- three separate library systems in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens -- are once again under siege, on the chopping block, threatened with draconian cuts in the face of New York City's Great Recession. (The cuts were outlined in an article in Library Journal.)

Library cuts in down times remind me of the classic line from Casablanca: "Round up the usual suspects." The public library is always suspect Number One when it comes to municipal budget cuts. And as librarians everywhere know, this is not a fact in New York City alone.

Underlying this reality are two simple facts. First, libraries do not have a vocal, powerful constituency. Unlike the police, teachers and firemen, they don't have a potent union or benevolent association. There is no "Library Lobby" doling out campaign contributions. But far worse, libraries tend to be viewed by all too many people in power as a luxury.

For complete article

1 comment:

  1. This is why Friends of the Library are important. Granted we do not have the power as do the unions but we can make our say for our favorite local public library.