Saturday, November 06, 2021

RIPOSTE TO STATE REP. PAUL RENNER: "Here’s what libraries really mean in the 21st century"(Roxyanne Young, Palm Coast Observer

Our Florida State Rep. PAUL RENNER dismissively said in response to a question on library construction funding, "people can now buy books with one click."

Sounds like Republican future Florida Speaker of the House PAUL RENNER badly needs his consciousness raised about economics and the centrality in Americans lives of free public libraries.

Free public libraries are a national treasure and essential to democracy. They were invented by Ben Franklin and are now more numerous than McDonald's -- 16,220 public libraries, including branches.

I am grateful to my mom, who took me to get my first library card on my sixth birthday, the first day on which I was eligible 

Thanks to Roxanne Young:

From Palm Coast Observer:

I don't know anyone who could afford to purchase the wide variety of books, audiobooks, magazines and more that people can check out, much less store them.
by: Guest Writer

(The following letter was addressed and sent to the office of Rep. Paul Renner. It is republished here with permission.)

Dear Editor:

I saw your remarks in the Palm Coast Observer regarding the funding for the Flagler County Public Library not being a high priority because "people can now buy books with one click." I realize that this may have been a flippant off-hand remark, and maybe it's been a while since you've been in a public library, but libraries do a lot more than provide books. Even if that was all they did there, I don't know anyone who could afford to purchase the wide variety of books, audiobooks, magazines and more that people can check out, much less store them.

The public libraries offer assistance with tax forms, affordable printing and copying for those of us who don't own printers, research assistance for those of us exploring special projects, public meeting space for local politicians, low-cost passport photos and application assistance, and provide space for safe voting polls — these are just some of the things I've personally done in the Palm Coast branch of the library in the last two years, in addition to checking out books and audiobooks.

Librarians offer help with job searches on the library computers, offer research and homework help for kids doing school projects, entertain and educate with read-alouds for young children, and help people find just the right book, audiobook, music CD, or movie to check out. 

Libraries provide a quiet space for kids to study and have access to computers and research materials they might not have at home. They provide access to business resources that a budding entrepreneur might need to support their new business, or someone seeking a new career can find books, videos and have access to the computers to help them search job boards. How is that not worthy of your support?

Maybe you can buy all the books you want with one click, but not all of us have that kind of budget.

When our local families have access to high-quality services like those the libraries provide, we all benefit. That, sir, is "reality in the 21st century."

I'm asking you to reconsider your priorities with the local budgets and work to fund the libraries around the county, and if Bunnell needs a new one, build it.

Roxyanne Young

Palm Coast

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