I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986)

Google ‘libraries in crisis,’ as I just did, and you’ll be hit with a massive amount of stories of libraries facing fiscal meltdowns all across the country. My own library, the Brooklyn Public Library, has been running a campaign to raise $500,000 because of budget woes.

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.

Henry Ward Beecher (Liberal US Congregational minister, 1813-1887)

This is just terrible. (And I have a mug from the Brewster Ladies Library, in Massachusetts, with that Beecher quote on it. I got it from my dad, who volunteered there, and at all of the other Cape Cod libraries he could get to).

It’s been shown that during financial crises, people utilize the libraries more than ever, for the free computers, internet and job assistance as well as borrowing books, DVDs and CDs so their leisure time is more enjoyable.

And yet during such crises public offerings such as the library are some of the first to get their budgets slashed.

An AP story talks about how even schools are cutting library funding, with perhaps close to 20% of schools having fewer library personnel when school reopens in the fall.

Really? We want our kids NOT TO HAVE BOOKS?!?

Okay, so I know we’re all in agreement about how awful this is. What are we going to do?

Earlier this year, I gave $50 to the Brooklyn Public Library (I also owe $5 in fines, but that’s something else). If you are able to, how about finding a library in your area and donating something–money or books–and then posting back here about what you did? We will all applaud your efforts, and likely as not your library will make good use of your donation and the crisis will be that much less.

And thank you!

(Janet will return tomorrow in my place; she had some pesky work tasks pop up, so asked me to fill in).