Apple Bonkers (applebonkers) wrote,
Apple Bonkers

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Cherish Libraries

My letter appeared in the Palo Alto Daily Post today (a newspaper that doesn't post its content online, so sorry, no link).

Without even touching on the specifics of Measure N and the Palo Alto Library project, in calling the library a big "box of books and CDs" and an "expensive mausoleum," Wayne Martin shows he has a narrow perception of the very idea of what a public library is and what it can be.

Mr. Martin makes a point about all the information and literature freely available on the Internet. It may be "free" to people who have functional computer hardware, Internet access, and permanent roofs to put those things under, but that does not include everybody, and the beauty of the public library is that it is for everybody, including those who go there to access the Internet

Other benefits of a public library: literacy programs, basic computer skills classes, children's programs, professional research assistance, a quiet place to be when one has no other quiet place to be, and yes, Web tools that allow patrons to access library services from home. In the Information Age, communities should cherish and nourish their Information Centers, i.e., their libraries, more than ever.
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