For me, the best part of my local library is the book collection. There’s also music and video content, and a Library of Things: games, museum passes, even fishing poles. There are popular programs for kids, teens, and adults.
There’s a full schedule of book discussions, school visits, mentoring, volunteering.
I do some writing at the library (but not this post). I’ve decided that living in a community with a good library is a must. I host my own Little Free Library on my front lawn. One of my closest friends is a librarian.
So, of course I was disheartened to hear that the Trump Administration proposed 2021 budget called for entirely eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Institute is the main source of federal support for libraries and museums.
Elimination: that means entirely gone.
Also proposed for elimination: the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities.
This is the fourth straight year the neck of arts and humanities are on the proposed federal chopping block, which means it won’t happen, or not entirely. A proposed budget is a political statement. All the wheeling and dealing is still to come.
But what a statement this administration is making. I mean, why should our government fund arts and humanities? Who wants to live in a country in which arts and humanities are valued, supported and cherished? Or, for that matter, where environmental protection is a priority? Or people–how about people being a priority (health care, education, safety net)?
It’s very distressing to me. I handle it by writing. THE CULLING, a dystopian thriller, was my response last year.
This year, I don’t know. I think I’ll start by putting some dystopian classics in my Little Free Library. I’ve got Brave New World, 1984, Handmaid’s Tale, a few others I can share in my library. Tomorrow I’ll head over to the town library, just to be there.