Friday, February 4, 2011

If Door Is Locked, Knock Really Hard

A rather odd sign posted on the door of a library branch luckliy I hadn't the need to pull my warm hands out of my pocket. As I entered the first floor, I noticed how desolate the area was with rooms marked "Computer room," "community room." I made my way upstairs via elevator where the doors lead you to the front desk. There sat a lone employee who pointed to where the computers would be when they reopened an hour half later or "when the kids come out of school," special collections that includes African American history, books in Portguese, and the Children's Room. There were two other patrons besides me keeping this staff member parked at his desk while his colleagues were at lunch. He shared with me the county's budget cuts has eliminated "many of the staff and programming we used to have." In all of my visits to the libraries (and when I lived in Queens I went to many) I had never felt more depressed and sad being in one. Growing up, the library was a place of information, resources, history and activities that kept my mind busy. What do today's kids have besides the interenet that contains a wealth of information but not all of it, can be or is intended for them. I look at this way, "knowledge is power" but if you oppress the ones seeking it that power is unevenly distributed. Go and support your local library, demand budget increases not cuts, use them for what these places were designed for. Or else they'll be gone before you even know one existed.

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