There have been mumblings in certain quarters recently suggesting that libraries are a waste of money in this day and age.
Pardon me, but I beg to differ; and this is why:
Lest these stats aren't enough to prove the point, let me leave you with a comment posted on BookBrowse's Facebook page yesterday:
"I am a librarian in a large system in New Jersey, and we are receiving an awful lot of angry calls. Today, when I answered the reference phone, I was told I am a waste of taxpayers money, among other choice words. As the budget problems in NJ get worse, more people (along with Gov Christie) seem to be targeting librarians as wasteful. Five years ago, this would be unheard of. You can imagine how I felt - I make around 40K, teach Excel, Word, Power Point, continue to develop more classes to improve job skills, am working on a state partnership to bring resume/job searching workshops here, develop ~20 adult programs out of thin air, run book groups .... am I a waste of taxpayers' dollars?" - Martha
After reading this, can you honestly tell Martha that she's a waste of money?
"The richest person in the world - in fact all the riches in the world - couldn't provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library." - Malcolm Forbes
"Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest." - Lady Bird Johnson
"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration." - Andrew Carnegie