The Mail Tribune of Southern Oregon has an article about the new program starting in Jackson County to share books community wide. It’s called Books for Kids. Children can come each weekday as well as on Saturdays to either exchange books or borrow them. It will be done on the honor system with no formal check out. Sounds great huh?
Well, that’s only until you realize that this is the same Jackson County that just voted to NOT support its public library system and decided to close their libraries. In that light, this is pretty freakin’ pathetic compared to a full-service library that was just voted into extinction.
What about older children? Those who read independently? What about teens? Computers? Magazines? Life long learning? Large print? DVDs? Newspapers? What about all of those things that make a library so much more than a shelf of books for little children! For heaven sakes, what about programming? What about skilled librarians to work with children? What about reader advisory? Reference?
What makes me furious are the quotes:
Sue McKenna, Medford Parks and Recreation supervisor, said she thinks it’s a “great idea.” “It’s actually something we wanted to get started,” she said. “It’s a perfect fit at a perfect time.”
Perfect now that the library is gone? Perfect??! Excuse me while I weep quietly in the corner.
Hathaway said she came up with the idea because when she had been a
single mother, she could not afford to buy enough books to keep up with
her daughter’s reading needs and depended on libraries.
Did you get that? DEPENDED ON LIBRARIES. And now she has “several dozen” books for children to replace that. Yeah, this is progress… But heck, it saved a few tax dollars, so it has to be an improvement! Right?