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Rally for Libraries!

Last week I attended the Massachusetts Library Association’s Rally for Libraries at the State House in Boston.  Librarians came from all over the state to hold signs and lobby that libraries not receive any further cuts in state funding.

librarians lign up

As protesters, librarians are, well, very polite. We held our signs and smiled. We cheered when a speaker said something great. We chanted – but rather quietly. Librarians just aren’t cut out to be protesters!

librarians with signs

But we are cut out to serve the people of Massachusetts. Libraries get busier than ever during times of economic difficulties. People come to us for help with resumes and job searches. They check out books rather than buying them. They borrow DVDs and books on tape and attend free programs. Libraries, if you will, level the playing field.

library rally

And yet we are so often an easy target when it comes to making budget cuts. I truly hope that will not be the case this time as we have been cut to the bone already.

dont close the books

So, please, Governor Patrick and members of the legislative body of Massachusetts – remember how important libraries are to the citizens of our commonwealth.

Don’t close the books on libraries.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. As a preschool teacher I use the library more than ever lately as I can no longer afford to purchase books as much as I would like.

    I hope the protest works!!

  2. You’ve hit one of my soapbox issues – Legislative cuts that impact intellectual and creative pursuits. Good for you for being part of the process.

  3. Love the idea of politely murmuring protestors! It is insane to think of cutting library funding at a time like this. In our town it is a resource used by every single segment of the population, libraries should be the last place to trim the budget.

  4. Libraries are the life blood of a community. When times are tough, as you said, we need them more. I hope the peoples on high will listen and realize what it means to each person in Massachusetts.

  5. We visit more than one library a week to check out books, relax and attend childrens programs. I can’t afford expensive Gymboree or thing like that, but the library offers such thing for free. My son gets a good experience, and I get to feel good about enriching his life in a time when many things in our life have been cut. It’s win win.

  6. agree (94 million)

    I never met a library I didn’t like. We have books in every room of our house, including four big bookcases (and two small ones) in the living room where I am now, and we are still heavy library users.

  7. I’m not in MA but I know it’s a problem all over, and I love my libraries (and librarians!). I hope you all were effective!!

  8. Oh, honey, I love libraries (as you know)! I have a clingy in my car window that say, “I love libraries. And I vote.” Good luck with your legislature — I hope lots of them are readers.

  9. I couldn’t agree more! Just to give you an uplift on people who do love their library–Our community is opening a brand new library and learning center next weekend. I can’t wait!

    It’s been about 5 years in the making. Money was found in all kinds of crazy ways, and as a community effort, was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen….ten year olds holding bake sales every week and raising upwards of $1000 during the summer..

    Sadly, very little, if any money came from the short sided government. They’re busy building more prisons.

  10. The library has always been there for me. I can remember when I was little – my mother and grandmother would walk my sister and I down to the library – and we would come home loaded with books. We went every week!

    I love going to the library!

  11. As someone a year away from an MLIS and meanwhile working part-time in a library district in the middle of a hiring freeze, I hear you loud and clear, even if you aren’t screaming.

    As Anne Herbert is often quoted these days, “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

    Best of luck!

  12. Carole,

    GOOD LUCK with your demonstrations!! I will keep your community and state in my thoughts as you rally for the libraries.

    Yesterday I discovered some extraordinarily disturbing news that has made it difficult for me to sleep. My local COUNTY library donated 10,000 books to the community college I teach at because the COUNTY library closed in the spring.

    In. the. spring.

    Where was the notice?

    Where were the picketers?

    I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do with myself!! That library has been around for more than 50 years.

    But after going to the library’s home page, I learned that it is “temporarily closed” due to remodeling. I hope this is true, I pray this is true, though our newsletter info doesn’t imply that the closing is temporary.

    Our city libraries have been in peril for a few years now, and our state (Michigan) is cutting everything in its unbalanced, overstretched budget. You just never know when a library can “go gently into that good night,” unnoticed, undefended, so don’t let yours go gently (Thomas).

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