It’s no secret that libraries around the country are facing devastating cuts. My own library had to give back $2 million with only weeks left in the fiscal year and at the same time County leaders advised us that we would face a 50% budget cut in July. At that time the Library laid off 120 of our staff–my colleagues and friends.
I’ve been pretty quiet online for the past few months about my personal experiences and feelings in all of this. Instead I’ve channeled my energy into a new website SaveLibraries.org in hopes that advocacy efforts can be shared and aggregated. The site has taken off and has almost become a second full-time job. While maintaining the site keeps me busy and keeps me from thinking too much about my own personal situation, every email, every post, every tweet reminds me that this fight for libraries is far from over.
So it was bittersweet when the local news called me to give an interview about the site. This isn’t the kind of publicity anyone wants to have. Though I am happy to talk about my work and the site, I would much rather focus on the value of libraries. If stories like this can help get the conversation started then the site and my efforts will have succeeded, but we also need to ask ourselves why we need to have this conversation in the first place. The fact that we need to tell people why libraries are valuable is a problem, a big one! It should be obvious in the work we do and the services we offer.
Please note that the site is SaveLibraries.org. WBTV got the link wrong in several of the visuals.