Budget Cuts Hit Library Hard
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My son has held a minimum wage job at the library for many years, but now has had his 20 hours cut to 15 per week. Given his income, the dollar amount is not much in the overall scheme of things, but it is still a blow, given that it is the only job that has worked out for him after various attempts at competitive employment.
I think I will encourage him to volunteer for a few hours, as that is how he got the job in the first place.
Also I bought T.C. Boyle's new book , "Wild Child," online because I really wanted to read it and it was not available in the library. So after I read it, I donated it to the library, to spare readers having to get interlibrary loans from other towns. I was pleased to see it today in the "New Books" stack.
I went to the library to print out obituaries for my Aunt Charlotte (my printer not having made it through the transition to the improved PC) and I found there is no longer a cover sheet for printouts. Nor is the monitor that shows Plainfield photos and postcards hooked up. One can see that the library is taking every step to save money.
However, when times are hard, the library traditionally becomes more valuable as a resource for job information, acquiring new skills, getting cheap or free entertainment and reading books one can't afford to buy.
Interestingly, Aunt Charlotte , the last member of my parents' generation, asked that donations in her memory be made to a library she valued in Statesboro, Ga. My son and I will do so, but we will also be thinking of our own library, in need at this time.
Good libraries have been a motif of our family history.
When we moved to Passaic Township (now Long Hill Township) many years ago, we found a library consisting largely of Reader's Digest Condensed Books and such. We immediately took out a library card with the Morris County Library and schlepped books back and forth, mainly for our daughter Audrey, for several years. Being a fast reader, Audrey often plowed through the books on the way home, but that was all right.
The point is, a good library is invaluable to a community. If you get a chance, read the PPL annual report online and consider all the groups this library serves. In the next budget go-round, the library must receive its due respect for what it provides - at least that's my opinion.