Libraries needed for an educated citizenry

March 19, 2010
By

The following letter was addressed to elected officials:

I hope that you will prevent the short-sighted suggestion of closing several branches of the Boston Public Library from becoming a reality. At a time when we ask our kids to commit themselves to education, we have to show them that we adults are committed to education ourselves.

Closing branches would take away the tools that many of our kids need to succeed. For families that can’t afford new computers and high-speed access and can’’ buy any book they choose, the library gives these kids the only access they have to educational tools. By sacrificing the education of our kids and making it so much more difficult for so many of our citizens to achieve academic and professional success, we incur the greater costs of a disenfranchised population.

If money does have to be cut from the library’s budget, let it come in reduced hours across many branches, as opposed to any branch closing. Once funding can be restored, it will be much easier to reestablish the system. Libraries are a place of meeting for many citizen groups. It is a haven for school kids who are running out of funded, after-school options. In the city of the first public library, we have to show that we still value an educated citizenry.

Marc Pelletier
Jamaica Plain