It has only become more apparent in recent years how important the open availability of reliable information is to maintaining a healthy democracy. For this reason, among the hundreds of priorities …
It has only become more apparent in recent years how important the open availability of reliable information is to maintaining a healthy democracy. For this reason, among the hundreds of priorities that will be balanced by local and state politicians heading into another budget season, we would advocate those decision makers to not forget about our local libraries.
Libraries have become so much more than just a place to check out books from around the world — they are bastions of culture and knowledge, open to the public for no fee.
The list of services provided by libraries is exhaustive. They provide a safe space to study for kids, internet access to those without reliable computers, expansive programming for everyone from kids to senior citizens including everything from coding to yoga, they are meeting spaces for political debates and community groups to organize and affect change, and as we have seen throughout the pandemic, they have even adapted to be community hubs where COVID tests and masks are distributed.
All of these services — some of which are critically important, but others which are simply vibrant additions to make any community feel more like a home such as the Banjo Bob Dixieland Jazz Band concert held Sunday at the Warwick Central Library — are administered and overseen by a small array of staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to helping expand the minds and experiences of others.
It may not be readily apparent at first glance, but the ongoing operation of a library is expensive, exhaustive work. They maintain hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature in print and digital formats that translate to millions of hours of entertainment and learning for people of all ages throughout our communities. They provide a space to gather, learn, share, and grow as individuals and as a collective society.
These institutions deserve tangible, steady financial support in addition to relying on winning competitive grants – the Champlin Foundation has been a steadfast supporter - in order to make critical infrastructural fixes and keep the lights on. They deserve an investment from our communities, and they have invested heartily into their communities.
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