Thursday, September 17, 2009

Public Libraries in Philadelphia May Shut Down

I think this situation is very unfortunate. The public library system in Philadelphia faces shutdown because the state government has been unable to balance their budget. This may not sound like major news, but many public library branches act as community centers for local neighborhoods.

While the library closures bring the obvious hardship of no access to free books, movies, music, newspapers, and magazines, there are bigger losses than that.

The closing of every library means that kids who go to the library after school while waiting for mom and dad to come home from work won’t have that constructive haven.

It also means that job seekers won’t have free resources and computer classes to help them get back on their feet. And anyone trying to improve his life with the GED, Adult Basic Education or English as a Second Language programs will have to find another way to do it.

I hope the Pennsylvania state government solves this situation very soon. As a graduate student attending an ALA-accredited school, libraries are important to all communities -- youth, adults, and the underprivileged.

[UPDATE 9/21/09: The Pennsylvania state Senate passed a budget vote that will prevent the layoffs of over 3000 city workers and the closures of all public libraries in the city of Philadelphia. This is fantastic news!]


Jeff Z. said...

I'm a first year social work/bioethics dual degree grad student in Cleveland, Ohio--

The public library funding is a huge issue in Ohio as well, with funding being as much as halved and many libraries closing. They set up a support site here:

Hope to see more entries about your program and classes to compare.

mswsarah said...

agreed. this is sad that such a valuable resource and service is at-risk for elimination---hopefully policy changes can go in effect to stop this from happening.

Linda Freedman said...

That's great! The truth is, if we don't say anything, our elected officials will take away almost everything that is considered "culturally significant." They say they just don't have the money, the welfare roles are too fat.