Libraries Are Fragile Things

They can be burnt, bombed and abandoned. They can also be defunded. Such is the case with my local Pomona Public Library. In the end it wasn’t completely defunded. Its budget was cut from the neighborhood of $1.5M a year to the neighborhood of $0.5 million a year with commensurate decreases in operating hours and professional staff. But this is just a patch to get the library through the City’s fiscal year. What happens at the beginning of the next fiscal year in June, 2013? What happens if the City’s finances further deteriorate over the remainder of the 2012/13 fiscal year? Or what happens if there is a major disaster that draws heavily on City funds? Anyone who thinks that the vector doesn’t point in the direction of closing down our city library just hasn’t looked closely enough at the political and financial realities of Pomona. Our situation in not unique but it is our situation.
Shirley and I are dedicated to preserving this 125 year old institution, not because it is 125 years old but because it is an important asset today. Public libraries like ours remain among of the most influential of equalitarian institutions. Its computer lab provides the only internet access and application software available to a large segment of our city’s population. Lawyers practicing at the nearby County Court use that same library for research.
As our State Assemblymember Norma Torres reminded us this morning, The Pomona Library is not just another city library. It is a regional library. So if you live in the region (or even if you don’t) consider contributing to the “Save Our Pomona Public Library Advocacy Group.” Everyone else should take a few moments in inquire about the financial security of their local public library.

One thought on “Libraries Are Fragile Things”

  1. Duane: Hope you and Shirley have recovered from this morning’s event. I enjoyed your comments about our library and agree everyone should be checking out the financial security of his/her local library. It was a shock here in Pomona to learn ours is in jeopardy. I also love the idea of a blog site about Abnormal Interests, and look forward to reading through many of your posts. Just glancing through your titles, On Discredited Rulers and Earthquakes and The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge grab me. Take care and I’ll see you at tomorrow’s meeting. Marian Higgins

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