Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
At the end of Adolph Hitler's vicious regime in Germany, we are told there were people who said, "When they came after the Jews, we didn't get involved because we weren't Jews. When they came after the Christians, we didn't get involved because we weren't Christians. So, when they came after the rest of us, there was no one left to help us fight."
Clearwater Beach is fortunate that we have a nice, small, inexpensive library with some loud voices and an active organization involved with it. The word at City Hall is that our library will not be closed, at least in this budget cut. But both the North Greenwood Branch and the East Branch are in question.
When Ruth Eckerd Hall asks for a subsidy, lots of people write letters, "important and influential" people address the Council so, even though the people who use Ruth Eckerd Hall are those who can afford at least $25 for admission to it, the Council votes for the subsidy. Downtown wants landscaping which will be seen by a small portion of the population, but Downtown has supporters who keep in touch with City Council and make their wishes heard.
It's time for those people who see libraries as valuable places where crime and poverty can be waylaid, where people who can't afford much can improve their lot -- by reading more, by finding information, by using computers, by learning and by using programs found nowhere else in their neighborhoods. Even people who never need a library themselves should have a concern for the community to keep their library for those who do need it.
Now is the time to let your Council members know that all of us think our entire library system is worth saving. It won't take much time to call a Council member or e-mail City Hall at www.myclearwater.com and ask them to keep the libraries open for everyone instead of funding only those things which people can pay for themselves.
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