Quite furious about library cutbacks
I recently sent the following letter to our Sonoma Valley Library Commissioner Mary Evelyn Arnold:
Dear Ms. Arnold: I am very disturbed about the proposal to significantly reduce the open hours of the library. The proposal is simply draconian. The library is an integral part of the community. By so severely limiting open hours, you are penalizing the very people who need its services the most. In this down economy, the library serves more necessary functions then ever. Many people have lost the means to pay for Internet use, and the library is an essential tool for job search and young people who need computer use for schoolwork and reference materials.
By so severely limiting open hours, there will be more crowding and waiting to get computer use. Many people will be forced to abandon library use. Again, this is not a very creative solution to the financial situation. The library staff has already had hours and benefits reduced. As well, the part time staff has been ousted. Quite frankly, I am outraged at the measures the Commission has taken without regard for the lives of the people involved and the impact it will make on the community as a whole.
I do adult literacy tutoring here at Sonoma Valley Regional Library. What a difference this can make to our community. As well as adult tutoring, I observed several young children being tutored by volunteers. With limited hours, the space needed would be non-existent for any kind of meaningful tutoring. I, myself, use this library more than ever. It is a positive uplifting environment. Being able to read the New York Times and other publications keeps an informed public (especially for those without internet).
I am trying to be intelligent and not rant and rave. But I am really angry, in fact quite furious. There has to be a more sane and sensible way to limit costs and keep the library open.
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Lynnette Peters lives and tutors in Sonoma.