With Florida elections coming up, something that has been on my mind is library funding. With choices like Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, it feels like I’m either going to lose my pants to one bully or my sweater to the other.
Florida has never really been a state with the reputation for being intellectual. More reason to fund libraries and education, I would think. But I have reason to believe we should be worried because in 2013 they threatened to take away a big chunk of library money. They threatened to close down several public libraries and the hours of remaining libraries. I know because I was there protesting in front of West Kendall Regional Library.
While the usage of print books might be declining (and this is contestable), libraries aren’t solely about books. These ancient institutions provide other services to people. For instance, they hold workshops on gardening, poetry, resume building, job hunting and other non-reading activities. They also have programs for kids, such as the program they had in the summer that provided children with a free lunch. Libraries are an invaluable part of the community and they should not have to be threatened by budget cuts.
In honor of the upcoming elections, I’m going to break from my usual routine and turn this post into a three part series explaining each potential governor’s position on funding for libraries and education as well as their past history.
Tomorrow Charlie Crist will be attending FIU and I hope to get some answers from him. Tune in Sunday, Nov. 2 for more information.