Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Give Libraries Some Love

It’s only thanks to Mystery Fanfare that I know today is National Bookmobile Day. Having been someone who, as a boy, benefited greatly from the operation of these traveling libraries, I salute every effort made these days by cities and counties to keep such resources operating. Constantly making books available to children is by far the best way to turn them into curious, persistent learners.

Incidentally, we’re right in the midst of the 60th annual National Library Week (April 8-14), a celebration organized by the American Library Association. Yesterday, April 10, was apparently National Library Workers Day, an occasion for folks to “recognize the valuable contributions” made by library employees. And tomorrow, April 12, has been designated as Take Action for Libraries Day, “a national library advocacy effort observed for the first time in 2017 in response to proposed cuts to federal funds for libraries.”

I’ve written before on this page about my attachment to the public library of my youth, and its essential role in making me both a reader and a writer. It’s hard for me to even conceive of budget-slashing politicians or bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., denying future generations of children the same sorts of opportunities I had to explore our world and the universe through books, simply because they would prefer to hand more mammoth tax breaks to already wealthy Americans or sink trillions of additional dollars into war materiel. It is time for the United States to reassess some of its priorities.

FOLLOW-UP: In Reference to Murder blogger B.V. Lawson offers worthwhile recommendations to follow this week: “Look around your community and see if there are ways you can support your public and school libraries through volunteering, civic action, or participating in local programs. Here are some ideas to get you started.”

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