Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Who loves her libraries? This girl does!

Today is a big day for The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  City voters are being asked to support their library.  From the group Our Library, Our Future:

Supporters of the Our Library, Our Future initiative are asking Pittsburgh residents to vote YES on a referendum on the ballot in November for a 0.25 mill special tax on all taxable real estate in the City of Pittsburgh to be allocated and used only for the maintenance and operation of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  (This is the equivalent of $25 per year or $2.09 per month on $100,000 of assessed value.)  If passed, this referendum will help provide Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh with the diverse and sustainable funding it needs to continue to provide the critical services the community wants and needs.

It's unthinkable to me that anyone would not support this referendum.  $2.09 per month?  I have that much change floating around in the bottom of my purse at the end of each month.  I would even pay much more than that to have a viable library in my community.  In fact, I do.  I'm not one of the lucky people who lives in a community that gives everyone library cards, so I have to pay for my card.   Well...cards.  I pay $30 per year to use the Carnegie Library system, and $35 per year to use my small community library.  And it's worth every penny.

Without our community libraries, I fear that we'll become Amazon.com world.  Don't get me wrong, Amazon.com has its use.  We bought our last TV from Amazon. But Amazon isn't really interested in helping you or expanding your reading horizons.  Amazon just wants to sell you stuff.  Barnes and Noble is only slightly better, although not quite as blatant about it.

When is the last time Amazon.com read a story to your child?  When did Barnes and Noble let you use its computers to access the internet?  When did Amazon.com help you write a resume, or provide a job search workshop?  When did Barnes and Noble let you use a meeting room, research your genealogy in their store or  teach you how to use Excel?  For free. 

When was the last time Amazon.com said, "Here, take these 6 books.  Any six books at all.  Take them to your house, give them a read and then just bring them back.  No extra charge.  Oh, and if we don't have what you want, no worries.  We'll get it for you.  For-freakin'-free."

Really. So please support your libraries.

15 comments:

  1. AMEN!! Couldn't have said it better myself, Lee...I sure hope enough people realize what an asset a library truly is...

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  2. I feel exactly the same way.I love going to the library! Although I have a kindle and enjoy its purpose, I visit the library by my office every week! I don't even mind paying the fees when I turn in a book late, they serve the purpose of helping to finance library expenses. I'm always surprised when people say they don't go to the library. Um, hello, its free.

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  3. Well said. I have been a library fan most of my life. We are fortunate in our area that there is no charge for our libraries. Over the years I have taken my children to Story Hours sponsored by our library and they all participated in the Summer Reading Program. As a stay at home mom this really helped our budget. Last year I bought myself a Nook. I must say that although I use my Nook there is nothing like holding a book in your hands. I hope that your funding is voted in. I'm in my library almost every week. They do still have a place in our changing world.

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  4. If there happens to be a library levy on the ballot - I ALWAYS vote for it. To take this a step further - I stopped listening to a local DJ when he posed the question, "Why do we need libraries? Nobody reads anymore." And then they went on to discuss how no one they knew read. My thought - Idiot, you're the reason we need more for the libraries!

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  5. Well said, Lee! I hope your referendum is passed!

    Robin in Virginia

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  6. I love the library. I got a library card recently. I do not have a library that I can get to easily so I did not have a card earlier. Once they started offering Kindle and electronic books, I am their biggest fan. I like paperbooks but the electonic books work great in my life. Hope your referendum passes.

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  7. Here, here. What people don't realize is that when times are tough people NEED the library more then ever.

    Pam

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  8. Thanks for your kind words about libraries from a librarian who is grateful for people like you every single day!

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  9. For some reason, I thought this was a county-wide referendum and I was a little surprised when it wasn't on my ballot -- I was all ready to vote YES! I've been a library fan since I was a little girl and I have such fond memories of Saturday trips to the public library. Our local library has been working for years toward a new facility but it's a constant uphill struggle. I'm told that at a township council meeting a few years ago, one member, not willing to support the funds needed, made the astonishing statement, "Not everybody reads"! Maybe he should try it sometime.

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  10. I totally agree with what you've said. For me it's such a wonderful feeling to step out of the library with a bag of books ~ I feel like a kid who just came out of the candy store. :) I certainly hope your referendum passes!

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  11. I love going to our library and the boys love going too, I'm proud to say they are "book nerds" just like their mamma! I figure that with as many late fees we end up with, we're helping out in our own way!

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  12. Thanks for the kind comments about libraries from a Librarian who appreciates them.

    I echo Lynda, we love patrons like you. We keep saying there is no better value out there, and for such a small cost out of your tax bill.

    I feel like I am on my 'soapbox' all the time trying to say the same message to the masses in our neck of the woods.

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  13. I love my library. And they loan Kindle books now so I am doubly happy. LOL

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  14. I agree with you 100%. Although I mostly read the books from my own shelves I support our small local library by paying my yearly dues for the library card and by giving donations every now and then.

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