When Will We Ever Learn?

Couldn’t help singing this song in my head as I read Where Have All the Libraries Gone (NonProfit Quarterly). You know how I feel about libraries, and I have to say it sounds like the author of this piece feels the same way. But cities, like Trenton, NJ, close libraries due to “budget shortfalls.” I am a firm believer that money can be found, if the impetus is there. Ask the taxpayers; they are often willing to pay more in taxes in order to have libraries. (And libraries are a drop in the taxpayers’ budgets, compared to other services.)

Why do we need libraries? For these reasons, and so many more: “Libraries serve as places of refuge during periods of citywide turmoil, as in Baltimore and Ferguson, or as places to provide equitable access to technology for digitally dependent students and families. Libraries were a key component of the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina.”

Or, as the graphic at the top of the story says, “Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.” (Eleanor Crumblehulme.) Just like we are the fools in the song, who never learn about the futility of war, it seems we don’t learn that it makes little sense to slash library funding.  So, speak up for libraries! (And library directors and boards, don’t assume just because your library is doing great things and people are using you, your funding is safe. It’s not. You have to constantly convince your communities to keep funding you adequately.)

So I have to say a little more about “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” I think of it as a Peter, Paul, and Mary song. But as I was researching it this morning, I find it was written by Pete Seeger, and originally recorded by the Kingston Trio. (Wikipedia
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Funding, Library Boards, Library Building, Library Funding, Library Services, Public Libraries, Services and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to When Will We Ever Learn?

  1. Eileen On says:

    Libraries are one of the many things our tax dollars fund, we need to reframe our conversations to show the wonderful things communities can build together. (Our local libraries had cut back hours too.)


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