Saturday, September 04, 2010

One more way we're destroying ourselves

This is what I mean:

I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.

-- Isaac Asimov

As someone who practically grew up in libraries (my mother, of blessed memory, taught both English and Library Science) this distresses me very much.


  1. I love books! I've visited libraries everywhere I've ever lived. I now live in a town that has such a small library...that I own more books than this library does! Slight exaggeration ;-)

    However, my husband bought me the best thing I think I've ever owned -- a Kindle! I don't have any money to buy books, but I have access to hundreds of "public domain" books, books whose copyright has expired and so they are offered for free by Amazon. I'm afraid that libraries may go away, although I hope they never do. I still love books and if I ever live in a town where they have a "decent" library I will be breaking down their door to borrow books, but, in the meantime, I have my Kindle and it opens worlds to me that I never would have read about otherwise...

  2. Even as our community cuts back on branch libraries in order to "save money," our city and county governments can always find enough money for another ball field or recreational facility. (I live where football is King, no make that God.)The excuse is used that the young people need to be kept busy and off the streets. I always think that if you managed to do that at the library, they would also be able to read, finish school and get scholarships to good colleges and universities when they graduate. As it is, even the ones who happen to be talented in sports often cannot make the SAT/ACT scores or complete the high school exit exam to accept the athletic scholarships they are offered. It is sad.


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