The 15 libraries serving this rural forest community lost $7 million
in federal funding this year -- nearly 80 percent of the system's budget.
Last fall, Congress failed to reauthorize a $400 million annual
subsidy to 41 states to help rural counties prop up their local
economies. Oregon took the biggest hit -- $150 million. Jackson
County lost $23 million and had to slash everywhere, from reducing
jail beds to cutting search and rescue teams.
That meant some hard choices, said Jackson County Administrator Danny Jordan.
"Losing libraries is a huge business deterrent -- who wants to move
to a city that doesn't have libraries?" Jordan said. "But we decided
we had to maintain public safety, which is already taking a $3.5
million cut. We won't be able to monitor misdemeanor sex offenders
anymore. The hard reality is that libraries are not an option for us."
We won't be able to monitor misdemeanour sex offenders any more. And a generation of kids who relied on library access for journeys of the imagination are going to grow up illiterate. Oh, safe, safe, to be sure - no steenkin' sex offenders in this county! - but functionally illiterate...
The closure of Jackson County's library system
represents the largest such action in the
nation's history, said Emily Sheketoff, executive
director of the Washington, D.C., office of the American Library Association.
"This is the worst that there has ever been," Sheketoff said.
an outreach program that
delivers books and other materials each month to
up to 800 blind, disabled and elderly people who
are unable to go to a local library.
The children and the elderly and the disabled should have better things to do with their time than read, I suppose. And the able-bodied who can drive can jolly well go into the next county for their..
Oh - my - GOD ...
Why hasn't there been a national outcry about this? WHY has federal funding for library services been cut? WHY is all the tax money going to fund a war we are losing in a country which is not ours and which doesn't want us there?
Is there an end to this insanity?
If you are in Oregon, write to your Congresscritters and Senators and scream, LOUDLY. If you are not in Oregon, write to those people anwyay and scream just as loudly - because YOU COULD BE NEXT.
Stop shooting people in foreign countries. Stop "monitoring misdemeanour sex offenders" - they don't need to be on 24-hour surveillance, really they don't.
Save the books.
Save the bridge to the worlds of the imagination before it crumbles away completely, and for good.
I addressed this post to the writers amongst us - but even if all you've ever been is an avid reader, this rallying cry applies to you, too. Speak out about this. Yell. Scream. Protest.
Don't let this pernicious plague spread. Please.