As I celebrate my 40th high school class reunion, the early 1970s are much on my mind.
The public library of my youth, the library I worked at after school and on weekends, has come a long way. The building is larger and is accessible by those with disabilities (I don’t think there was even an elevator in the 70s!). There are computers and a web page. There are databases available both inside the library and remotely.
My hometown library is not unique. Most public libraries have come a long way since the 70s. But given the current economy, and the movement to lower (or “hold the line on”) taxes, I worry that public libraries will now go backward, and some may never recover.
At this same time, as a woman who came of age in the 70s, I can’t help thinking about the Women’s Rights Movement. But just as I worry about the effect of the current climate on libraries, I worry about its negative effect on women.
Say it with me, for women and libraries: Hell no, we won’t go back. We can’t.