With recent governmental budget cuts, many public services are beginning to suffer. Not least among these are public libraries. While some still consider the work of libraries as outdated and unnecessary, Dr. Timothy Crist, president of the Board of Trustees for The Newark Public Library in New Jersey, and Karin Slaughter, author and founder of Save the Libraries, explain why taking funds away from libraries can result in long-term detriments to the community.
Crist argues that libraries are essential because of the work they do in preparing the community for the future. Helping people find jobs, providing Wi-Fi, encouraging family literacy, and much more is part of the everyday responsibilities of many public libraries around the country. The stuffy, quiet library of the past has transformed, in many cases, into a progressive, vibrant resource to help communities in modern society connect to and exchange information.
Save the Libraries, Slaughter’s organization, strives to provide funding for libraries in underprivileged communities. Slaughter speaks of the impact of libraries on her own life, explaining how the institution provided her with the chance to discover new worlds as child. Even now as a successful author, she uses libraries to access research and history records that are often unavailable anywhere else. She encourages individuals to reach out to their local governments and explain the need for libraries in the community, as well as donating to libraries that need it. Slaughter says that one dollar spent in the library returns five dollars to the community.
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- Dr. Timothy Crist, president of the Board of Trustees for The Newark Public Library (Newark, NJ)
- Karin Slaughter, author and founder of Save the Libraries
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