Have you hugged and thanked your neighborhood library employee for his or her dedication and service yet?
I've just received an email from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles informing me that National Library Week comes to an end on Saturday, April 16th.
Since library hours have been reduced following budget cuts, the libraries of the city of Los Angeles need your warm presence and support more than ever. As the late, great Miv Schaaf, a Los Angeles Times Sunday Edition columnist and public library booster, once wrote, "When life seems not worth living, ten minutes in the library proves otherwise."
Since voters approved Measure L last March, perhaps there's hope that lost services will be reinstated in July. Martín Gómez, the city librarian, told Library Journal, "Starting in July, we will add back a sixth day of service, probably a Monday, and in the second year we will add back two more evenings, and in the third year we will provide seven days of service at nine locations."
Time will tell if these predictions come to pass. In the meantime, consistently support your neighborhood library NOW with donations, bequests and the commitment to keep advocating for the financial health of our public libraries. Just because Measure L was successful does not mean that the struggle to safeguard our library system from erosion has ended. Complacency is no longer an option.