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Economy Is Destroying Libraries

Pennsylvania Senate voted to approve a 50% cut in library funding. If you live in Pennsylvania you might want to check out this article at DailyKos that gives you information on how to reach your representatives.

One of the Egyptian reporters today said that the biggest danger in the larger world is ignorance and that education can reduce ignorance which can, in turn, reduce violence. Libraries are an important part in the fight against ignorance.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Phyl
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 08:29:38

    This is bad on so many levels that I hardly know where to start. Alas, I no longer live in Pennsylvania. But particularly galling is that Pennsylvania was home to Andrew Carnegie who spent so much of his personal fortune building library buildings for cities and towns across America. What a slap in the face to Pennsylvania’s very rich library heritage. Oh, and let’s increase public ignorance while we’re at it.

  2. Mireya
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 09:40:30

    It’s sad. And in this economy, more people depend on libraries. :(

  3. Jane
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 10:15:40

    This is happening all over the US, not only in Pennsylvania. Here in Ohio my county may have to close up to half of its branches next year if the state revenues don’t improve. Ohio has traditionally had fantastic libraries, but the budget crunch is killing us.

  4. Wendy
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 11:53:19

    I was wondering how Ohio libraries were doing – because they traditionally have had some of the best libraries in the country. Awesome, awesome state library organization. That said, while the entire country is hurting, the Midwest seems particularly dire. Says the Michigan girl who moved out west so she AND her man could be gainfully employed at the same time.

    I work for a library in California, and we’re still waiting on final news regarding our budget. At this point? It’s not good. Not good at all. I’m trying not to freak out completely though until we have something set in stone. There’s only so much fretting you can do before your brain begins to meltdown.

  5. Jessica G.
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 17:46:16

    Sent a letter to my Representative. I live in PA and use the library, so this would really upset me.

  6. Corrine
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 04:31:04

    This sucks for the residents of PA. However I can say with some confidence (I work in library services) that other libraries in other states are flourishing. In Texas, Arizona, and Colorado we have libraries that are ordering like crazy and building up. So all is not lost for the libraries!

  7. Diane V
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 07:45:46

    What about the funding for elementary school libraries?

    Last month, I volunteered at a book fair at an elementary school in a poor neighborhood in my city because my employer would give the school $500 if 5 associates volunteered 3 hours of time each.

    Anyhow, I was in shock at how few books were in the library – maybe 300 books at the most. The librarian told me that any “good” books were checked out and that there was probably a waiting list of at least 10 kids for each book — so they let the kids have the book for only 4 days. The funding for book purchases at that school was under $500 for the year (WTF – I can spend that in a month on books for me!)

    I immediately asked her to email me a list of desired books. I ended up buying 80 books for the school – the entire list the librarian gave me plus my own favorites (Stellaluna, Put Me In the Zoo, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.)

    For at least the next year, my friends and family are going to be getting books donated to that school for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.

  8. Maya M.
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 20:12:25

    @ Diane V – Bless you. What a great example. Libraries in schools are almost more important than libraries in the general community, because children whose families would not take them to a community library can still get bitten by the reading bug on their own initiative.

  9. XandraG
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 13:50:46

    Just in case anyone needs a reminder of the potential loss here:

    Library Love

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