Friday, June 18, 2010

Read-In Protest at Brooklyn Public Library (@brooklynpublic) [You're The Expert]

Some forty branches of the New York Public Library system are due to close because of budget cuts passed by their city council.  From the BPL site:
Brooklyn Public Library could face a devastating $20.6 million cut in city funding on June 30.
As a result of this cut:

  • BPL would close 16 libraries.
  • Weekend hours would be severely limited.
  • Hundreds of staff members would be laid off.
  • Essential materials and important services would be drastically cut.
As a protest, a Brooklyn branch staged a read-in on the library's steps.  They even got some Gossip Girl action going on while patrons took fifteen minute shifts to sit in and listen to the librarians read everything from children's books to poetry to nonfiction.  Also in protest, we recently saw the NYPL stage a protest in the form of the ghostbusters hunting ghosts in the library. Noted in the NY Times article, the libraries did not close in the Great Depression.  That leads me to ponder the value our society has placed on freedom and accessibility of information in our society today.

Do you think that these events are effective means of protest?  Do you think the libraries should be doing something different?  Do you think it's okay for the libraries to close?  Are you facing anything similar in your neck of the woods/desert/plains/swamp/island?  Would you participate in a read-in as an effort to save your library?

[via New York Times]


Mundie Moms said...

While I don't live in NY, what is happening there is happening around the Country. The closing libraries and schools shows how UNimportant education is now in our society. Personally, I think there is no excuse for it. I could seriously go on a huge rant about it, but I think you summed it up beautifully when you said this, "That leads me to ponder the value our society has placed on freedom and accessibility of information in our society today." That is so true!

I think that if everyone did something to show their support for our libraries and schools, and took a stand on the importance of education and literacy, then we wouldn't be losing our precious libraries and schools.

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katsrus said...

I haven't heard of any closing here but; I'm sure there are some. I think it's a shame that libraries are closing or they are cutting staff and hours. It is one of the wonderful resources everyone can enjoy. I used the libraries a lot when my kids were growing up. It was a great resource for our family as I didn't have a lot of money. I know a lot of schools are hurting around here and they are closing some or getting rid of courses. What a loss for people and the staff that work there.
Sue B