Monday, April 07, 2008

Library Woes Impact Community

Like a lot of people with a harsh book jones, I love libraries and I’m even pretty crazy about librarians. So when you hear about a library enmeshed in a steep political mess, it can’t help but make you sad.

The Greater Victoria Public Library in the British Columbian capital city has been seeing strike action that included various slow downs of services beginning in September 2007. On February 18th of this year, library workers were locked out.

The strike is now -- finally -- resolved and library doors will open tomorrow, but through the many months of closure, one really positive thing came out of the struggle: according to The Business Examiner of Vancouver Island, the strike had a tremendous impact on the community. People missed their library. Many of them in ways they hadn’t anticipated. One could even go so far as to say that, for some people, the library being closed for so many months had a negative effect on the lives of many members of the community. Sad as that is, it’s good to hear.

At a time when some conversations around libraries question the validity of book lending institutions in century that some people view as potentially bookless, it’s good to have proof of the thing us booklovers already know: books matter. Libraries are necessary and important on more levels than casual observation might imply. Long story very short: libraries rock. We need them. For more reasons than we maybe even know.



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