THE LIBRARIES are slated to close in less than two weeks, and the city is seriously underestimating the impact this will have. I am haunted by the feeling that those who will be most affected by the closings aren't the ones at the rallies.
The people fighting are mostly those who have the social and financial resources to make out OK after the library closings. After all, it's usually the privileged - those who are used to getting their way - who fight the hardest for things like libraries. Isn't that why all of the Center City branches are remaining open? No one in the city administration wants to fight the neighbors in Rittenhouse Square if their library (ridiculously close to the Central Branch) is closed.
Indeed, as a member of the Logan Branch and a close neighbor of the library, I like the convenience of a local library within walking distance, and I love the relationship I have had through the years with the wonderful staff at my library. However, I have access to a car. I could take my children to other libraries to take out books, and I can use the Internet from my home. But there are people who need the Logan Branch to remain open. There are schools that use the Logan Library Branch as a school library, having no real library of their own. There are community members - far too many - who don't have Internet access in their homes and can only participate in the "digital age" at the library. Some are searching for jobs online - and more will be soon, it would seem, as we go further into recession.
There are elementary school students who go to the library after school to work on homework to wait for older siblings or working parents to pick them up.