As the final NYC budget decision draws near, Councilman Van Bramer's postcard campaign is wrapping up and today at 2pm on the steps of City Hall, there will be a postcard presentation ceremony (try to attend if you can!) Librarians and library supporters all across the city worked very hard to promote and collect these postcards. We did our part at my branch too...with some amusing results.
The postcards below are the handiwork of a precocious, sarcastic, quirky 10-ish-year-old girl who comes into my branch almost daily. (I'll call her Tara, although that is not her real name.)
I explained to Tara the basics of the campaign. She loves the library and doesn't want it to close, so she filled out this postcard:
I told Tara that I liked her enthusiasm, but maybe she should focus on what she liked about libraries rather than issuing vague threats to Mayor Bloomberg. Since she and I have a good relationship (she realized I was not criticizing her and she has a sense of humor beyond her years), she was agreeable to my suggestion, although she did tell me "I don't take any BS." Okay then!
Tara filled out another postcard:
Well, I thought the idea of a school protest was wonderful, so I was completely in Tara's corner until the "six feet under" comment. (Which was followed by maniacal laughter on Tara's part, by the way.) Since she had escalated her message from a vague threat to more of a thinly-veiled threat, Tara scrapped that postcard and filled out yet another one.
As she wrote, she said: "I'm spelling a lot of stuff wrong. But it will look messy if I cross it out. If he's a good mayor, he'll be able to read it."
It's certainly true that librarians will not be able to purchase new books if the budget is cut. And we will probably want to scream. However, I paused when I got to the "bloody head on a platter" line and gave Tara the old crooked eyebrow. She laughed again and grabbed a final postcard and said: "FINE, I'll write a persuasive letter."
Well. How can you argue with that? The Mayor would HAVE to feel sympathy for a child crying about a lack of library books. (Not to mention for all of the librarians who would be crying as well.)
C'mon, Mayor Bloomberg. Do the right thing and fully restore library funding so that kids like Tara will always have a place to be quirky and creative and funny. (I'll do my best to keep the vague threats to a minimum.)