Monday, May 24, 2010

Books, Interrupted

Budget cuts could shut some libraries, reduce hours for sure

Here’s what the New York Public Library flier says: 18 million visits to the system’s branches each year. 50 million books and other materials. 39,000 programs and classes. 600,000 visits to children’s programs. 34,000 attended job classes. Thousands of books loaned to nursing homes, senior centers, schools, and prisons.

Here’s what’s at stake, according to the flier, if budget cuts happen:10 branches closed. Others open only 4 days. 736 staff positions eliminated.

You might not be a library-goer. You’re missing out if you’re not. There are way more interesting, and worthwhile things in them than there were in the Virgin record stores. They’re more stimulating than Whole Foods. Better than anything on TV. Books, newspapers, magazines, chairs, tables, lights, community bulletin boards, wifi. Now, all that’s there for you 6 days a week. You don’t want less. Go to and see how you can help. And go to your branch, if you don’t normally. Check out what’s been there all along for you.

Caption: Go to the site. It’s as important as keeping schools open.

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