Okay, so maybe that's a LITTLE dramatic, but I am concerned about the future of LIBRARIES in small towns. I found out last week that our town library's ANNUAL budget for new books is--drumroll please--$500. $500! That just kills me! We have this awesome new librarian who is really working to grow the YA collection (which was basically nonexistent before) as well as continue the quality in other areas. For $500? A fund-raiser (or TEN) is definitely in order, but in a small community (population around 5,000) where lots of people are out of work, I don't know how much is out there. It's not like when our priest told us the church needed a new roof, and he said, "The good news is we have all the money we need for a new roof, the bad news is, it's still in your pockets." I don't know if the money we need IS in too many pockets, and honestly, many people are just trying to stay in their homes and feed their kids. In the short term, those things are absolutely top priority. But for the sake of the long term, this community needs resources like the library (no, our town does not have a bookstore) not just for books, but for internet access. And it's not just our town, small town libraries everywhere are struggling.
Just a little public service announcement this morning.
We are having torrential rain right now, then I am on to the library to write. Yes, it is my office some days, too. And not just my office, there's a bunch of people in there working on various things every day. But I digress.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR LIBRARY:
1. Donate your old books. Nice, recent hardbacks can be added directly to the collection. Older books can be sold as used books for fundraising.
2. Ask your library about used books sold as fundraising! Be a customer!
3. Join FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY or whatever support group your library has. A simple $10 annual membership, for example, can do wonders when multiplied by many members. Think about it, only 50 members would DOUBLE the annual book buying budget.
4. Thank and encourage a librarian TODAY. It's tough for them these days. Many wonder librarians are doing miraculous things with tiny budgets. Just a small word of appreciation can go a long way.
5. Patronize your library. You will learn other ways to plug in and help, but you will also be reminded of what an amazing resource your local library can be.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.