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Friday, June 8, 2012

Where Would You Be Without Your Library?

Yesterday was our Summer Reading Kickoff. Everyone seemed to have a nice time, although it was a bit more low-key (low-keyer?) than previous years. But I manned the fake tattoo station and my co-worker held an arts & crafts session and we did the best we could with our limited staff and resources.

Speaking of limited staff and resources, have I mentioned in the past five seconds that the Mayor is trying to cut our budget even more? No? Okay, I guess it's time to talk about it again. In my previous post, I linked to BPL's online petition (which you should totally sign,) but they also created a special sheet for kids to fill out with the heading "Where would you be without Brooklyn Public Library?" We handed out these sheets during the kickoff yesterday and got a lot of responses from young library users of all ages.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Without my library I..."can't read free books and can't learn. To me books have the same value as my life. I also can't buy all the books I want because I'm poor and the books are expensive." - 11 year old girl

I just want to repeat that one line: "To me books have the same value as my life." This kid is DEDICATED.


Without my library I..."would be home and be bored and rot my brain playing computer and iPod. My brain would burn from reading boring books." - 9 year old boy

I'm just going to assume he meant that the books he has at HOME are boring, not the ones at the library.

Other responses (sans photos):

Without my library I..."would be sad and bored and I would have nothing to do." - 11 year old boy

Without my library I..."would not read any books." - 11 year old boy

Without my library I..."would not be happy. I wouldn't be able to do my projects and entertain myself with books. I love reading!" - 10 year old girl

Without my library I..."would not have a place to read books. Without my library I would not have any places to do research. Without the library I wouldn't have anything to do." - 8 year old boy

Without my library I..."can give money and if you close there will be no book. Plase [sic] don't close." - 6.5 year old girl. (Awww!)

Without my library I..."wouldn't be able to read books over the summer. I love to read books. It's my hobby and I do it when I have free time. Books are a part of my life. I won't be able to live without books. Books improve your reading levels and they help you improve in ELA state tests. Without a library I would be bored at home with nothing to do." - 13 year old girl (Another frighteningly dedicated reader!)

And then there was this one that made me cry:

Without my library I..."would not be able to have access to books. I'm 4.5 and have Down Syndrome. My mom is writing this for me because I can't. My mom is not able to afford books for me without the help of the Brooklyn Public Library."

I mean, that really just kind of says it all, doesn't it?

And finally, on her response sheet, a 12 year old girl (whose first language is not English and who I help to pick out books weekly because she claims to not love reading) drew the picture below (and several other pictures of sadness) of how she would feel if the library closed:

Without my library I..."will be bored. I would not read any books. I will not have fun. My Level reading will be bad. If my computer broke, I will not have a place where I do my homeworks, projects, and more. I will not have somebody to help me in my homework when I don't know. I would not have a program where I could learn. I will be so bored and sad if I didn't have my library."

As you can see, she was NOT happy with the prospect of libraries being closed. When I explained to her in general about the budget cuts, she said "Are they idiots?" I didn't quite know how to answer her.

Let's not be idiots, people. Let's keep our libraries open. FOR THE CHILDREN.


  1. Simply awesome!

    Way to go kids!

    (From a former YA librarian, semi-retired due to raising kids)

  2. Luckily, we've never had to run a similar petition. However, I know many parents who are in the same position as the mother of that child with Down Syndrome.

  3. "Are they idiots?"

    Yes, yes they are.

    1. (This would be your sax player, Matt)