Skip to main content

Sunday Ramblings, Funding Libraries in Difficult Times

Interesting piece in the Detroit Free Press today on the cuts facing public libraries.  With all of the current revenue problems, many communities are cutting public library budgets.  What is interesting about library use is it skyrockets during tough financial times.  So many of these libraries are facing cuts when patrons need them most.

Recently, a reporter for FOX Chicago posed the question, are libraries "a waste of tax money?"  I was not surprised to hear what a reporter from "Fox News" thought, no surprise there.  The response from Mary A. Dempsey, commissioner of the Chicago Public Library is wonderful to read. I am not going to get into a political debate, but my tax dollars have been wasted on far worse items (and events) over the past decade than a public library system.  

When it comes to taxes and libraries, I think back to something former Minnesota Governor Jessie Ventura said, "when we build a public library, we don't have to pay to get in, but when we build a stadium, we have to pay the owner every time we go to a game." 

I know the two local libraries (Flat Rock and Trenton) do much more than just supply books.  They provide various programs for all age groups along with Internet and computer access.  Also, librarians with advanced degrees are available to provide assistance to patrons. Libraries serve a meeting points for various groups and organizations.  I still wish my home town, Brownstown Township, had a library.

What do you think?  Are libraries a waste of tax dollars?  Does the Internet solve all needs for knowledge?  Will libraries even be around in ten years?  I sure hope so, I fear the recent backlash of all things "government run". 


Popular posts from this blog

Your Own Personal Library Catalog

So, how many of you have remember using an old style, card catalog?  You know, you want to find a book in your local library, so you pull out the long drawers flipping through cards.  Well those days are long gone of course (thankfully) and nearly all libraries use an electronic catalog system to keep track of their collections.  Many of the school districts in Wayne County are using a system developed by Follett .  It is a great system for school age children and prepares them for many of the advanced catalogs available in public and university libraries. Catalog software is quite expensive and really impractical for home libraries.  Some book lovers may create their own spreadsheet or database to keep track of their books, however there is a great (free) tool online to not only catalog your books, but also meet and communicate with other book lovers online.  The site is a wonderful site that lets you catalog your own home library.  Think of it as a "Facebook

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

Back in November I wrote about what I believe to be the best part of my job; running into Carlson High School graduates that are success stories and hearing about how well they are doing in the "real world."  Carlson High School graduate Nathan Matatall is clearly one of these success stories.  After graduating from Carlson High School and Michigan State University Nathan has gone on to very successful career at Dell Computers.  The News Herald even published a feature piece on Nathan a few years ago.  This past week, Nathan provided my family with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.   Nathan, my former public speaking student, contacted me via email a few weeks ago and inquired about taking my kids on a tour of Marine One (one of the helicopters used to transport The President of the United States and other dignitaries) and to possibly attend the landing of Air Force One when President Obama was scheduled to arrive in Detroit.  I was very excited a

A Little R & R

I decided to take a little R & R before things get crazy with back to school.  I wanted to spend some time with my family for these final weeks of summer, so I decided a break from writing was in order.  A trip to Kalahari and fun times with friends and family made August fly by.  So, what does school year 2014 bring for me?  Quite a bit, as always: Back to teaching two courses at Wayne County Community College.  Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings I head to Northline Road to teach college level English.  I really love this second job! Tuesday, I start my 17th year at O.A. Carlson High School.  While public education continues to face challenges, there is no other job for me at this time.  I love my co-workers and students.  Gibraltar is a great place to work. I will be running my kids all over as usual.  Gymnastics, religious education, flag football (which I coach as well), and others events "to be determined."  I would not have it any other way.  I love watch