The Houseful’s Lack of Library Funding Rant

Yesterday, the city of Chicago made the budget public knowledge. It’s four hundred and some odd pages long. I’m guessing that they figure that the regular ol’ city dweller won’t care too much about all of those nifty numbers and positions.

Well, they are wrong. As you all know, I love the library. And since we have been  homeschooling, the library has become even richer source to our household. Which is why I’m mad. Because our cities mayor is proposing that we get rid of those individuals in the library that HELP make it that way. I’m talking about the librarians. We’re slated to lose several of the already minute numbers of librarians that we have in this city. If you have ever been to a library in the city of Chicago, you will know that the individuals who check your books out are NOT in fact librarians, but city employees (and before you go stepping on my toes, I don’t want them gone either. They usually complete our quick library trip and are one of the reasons that we continue coming back.) who don’t really know the stacks all that well.

If we lose librarians, we lose a wealth of knowledge that we can not find on our own in the amount of time that we have. I mean, who else, but our Adult Librarian, Maggie, can tell me how to find books on using the least amount of fabric for skirts – which is how I got “One Yard Wonders” or Miss Julie or Miss Amber, who conduct story times each week so that the ladybug can get a dose of socializing with other children her age, and an extra dose of hugs and praise from other adults?

On any given morning or afternoon, I see students coming in to complete homework assignments, research projects or papers. They ask the LIBRARIANS to help them find information on the subject matter and those LIBRARIANS do so. They go above and beyond what they are supposed to sometimes also.

Case in point. While I was planning the ladybug’s birthday party, I mentioned to Miss Julie how I wanted to label the food with book titles from children’s stories. Instead of her saying “Wow, that’s a GREAT idea!” (which would have been totally fine) she began to look up book titles for me, AFTER asking what I would be serving at the party. Total package right there.

I’m not sure what the mayor thinks will come out of this, or if he thinks that most people won’t care. However, I could not let this day go past without speaking out about it. I am hoping that some of you who live in Chicago will make it a point to contact your Aldermen and our Mayor to let them know that we NEED our librarians. We love them, and they love us. It’s what makes a community – and isn’t that what the Mayor is aiming for anyway?

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    DaenelT
    October 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    As a librarian, this post both made my heart full and made it break at the same time. The powers that be truly do not understand what we librarians do, nor do they understand there’s more to locating information than simply using Google.

    They also fail to understand the services that we provide from helping families such as yourself, to helping people who are looking for jobs…

    • Reply
      The Houseful
      October 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Daenel,

      I’m furious. And I’m sure that it has to do with the fact that politicians (all of them) don’t REALLY seem to be worried about the people who actually support them. Those of us who actually don’t have thousands of dollars to form an interest group and who trust them to make the right decision for us. For a nation who seems to be so focused on raising our education standards, we aren’t equal across the board when it comes to making sure that our children and communities get just that.

  • Reply
    Aisha G of Hartlyn Kids
    October 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    *Sigh* I love libraries too but I can see why they get cut because not enough people fight BACK on it! They need to and should. Great post.

    • Reply
      The Houseful
      October 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      We need people to care SO much. Even if they need the library as a warming station – SPEAK OUT! Because sometimes while the people ARE in there warming up, they are STILL reading, or searching for jobs, houses, classes. SOMETHING.

  • Reply
    Whitney
    October 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This is terrible to hear. And if you’re thinking it’s in Chicago and doesn’t matter I live in ________, you are blind. Because if they’ll do it there it’s only a matter of time before other government officials are looking to cut YOUR communities’ library funding

  • Reply
    Julie Hanson
    October 26, 2011 at 7:46 am

    What a beautiful piece! And I’m not just saying that because I am a librarian. You just captured the essence of the library so eloquently. Mind if I share it?

    • Reply
      The Houseful
      October 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Of course you can share it! By all means, please do. This makes me so angry!

  • Reply
    Julie Hanson
    October 26, 2011 at 7:49 am

    also, don’t know if you saw/signed the petition yet:
    http://action.afscme.org/c/293/p/dia/action/public/index?action_KEY=3039&start=325

    feel free to share it widely with friends & family

    • Reply
      The Houseful
      October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      I’ve signed it, and can’t think of anything nice enough to put in my comments just yet. >sigh<

  • Reply
    Anne Riddick
    October 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

    This is such a wonderful testament to what librarians do each day. As a librarian and colleague to the wonderful Miss Julie and Miss Amber and Maggie, I can tell you that homeschoolers are some of our best and most rewarding customers! Thank you so much for your support.

    • Reply
      The Houseful
      October 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Hi there Anne! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It is definitely an uphill battle, but I think that we can and will win this! I’m just hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

  • Reply
    National Library Week: April 14-20 | Houseful Of Nicholes
    November 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    […] a visit to the library for storytime. We’ve protested on behalf of the library, we’ve contacted our legislation about cutting funds to the library and we make it a weekly stop for homeschool support and monthly […]

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