The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Editorials

October 19, 2009

Editorial: Library making tough, right decisions on cuts

How do we best express the impact of the economic times to our children?

If we choose to be honest, we can tell them that Christmas presents may be limited this year or that the family vacation will be in Indiana, not Florida.

We can also tell them that the library bookmobile that often came to school won’t be driving up anymore, or that the hours at the local library will be shortened.

If we choose to protect them from such realities, then perhaps parents will need to get more involved in early childhood literacy and reading to their children.

Recently, the Anderson Public Library board of trustees decided that bookmobile service to schools would be eliminated and hours at Lapel and Anderson would be shortened. This should save the $256,369 revenue shortfall for the library in 2010. The shortfall is a result of statewide property tax caps which are leaving governmental bodies with less revenue.

The impact on library hours may not be harsh. Anderson will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. So get your DVDs early. Better yet, get your books early and make it a steady habit to read to your children. Instead of inserting a DVD, insert knowledge through the discoveries offered by reading.

The Lapel branch will suffer more, with hours reduced from 56 a week to 30. The branch is to be closed Fridays through Sundays. The change still allows staff to read to preschoolers on certain mornings. The weekend closing in Lapel is disturbing though not uncommon in other districts.

We should probably be thankful that the Lapel branch is not being replaced by a bookmobile.

Instead, the Anderson bookmobile service will be eliminated.

The presence of bookmobiles has dwindled in the U.S. since a high of 1,125 in 1991. They’re down to under 900 now, according to the American Library Association.

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