A Conservative Approach to Libraries
For a variety reasons, I’ve found the reported success of Providence branch libraries to be encouraging. As a writer and reader, I’m obviously invested in the written word. As a tangible spiritualist (if you will), I’m a fan of books, specifically. As a cultural conservative, community involvement is an appealing outcome. And as a libertarian-leaner on governmental and fiscal topics, I can’t resist pointing out this:
“It was inspiring to see a group of dedicated volunteers work so hard,” says Karen Mellor, library program manager for the state Office of Library and Information Services. “It’s also remarkable what they accomplished in a short period of time.” …
With a $5 million budget — about $2.5 million less than what the public library had said it took to run the system — the community library has retained most of the old library staff and kept basic services and hours of operation intact. Years of budget cuts, though, have left the libraries with weak collections and old buildings in need of repair.
The funding is still public, but it’s titularly municipal, which is fine by me. Community involvement can include a community decision that a library is worthy of public funds. Whatever the case, I hope the branch libraries succeed in their goal of revitalizing neighborhoods as local hubs.