Most people are willing to pay more to be amused than to be educated. ~Robert C. Savage, Life Lessons
It isn't so much that hard times are coming; the change observed is mostly soft times going. ~Groucho Marx
What happens when you can no longer pay for your own internet? What happens when you can't afford to buy books for your children? What happens when you need help updating your resume? What happens when budget cuts interfere with your access to information?
Times are tough, and it looks like it might be getting tougher. There hasn't been a fast fix to our recession woes. We're a global society used to getting what we want when we want it; and if we don't get it, we throw a fit like a spoiled three-year-old denied a cookie before dinner.
The Maintanence of Effort was given to us last week. That's the money that we are required to get for the year, based on funding from previous years. Once upon a more prosperous time, library budgets were "safe". They haven't been safe for a while. We got news that next year our funding is being cut. AGAIN. Really? Our lower income community has a great need for the services we provide. How many times have we helped patrons find things they need online? How many resumes have we proof-read and printed out? How many kids get to read new (to them) books on a regular basis? How many adults get to read the latest hardcover without shelling out their hard earned cash? How much money have people saved by checking out a DVD instead of renting one?
I suppose it's all in your sense of priorities. I don't care a thing about the NFL, so a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings is not real high on my list of things that I feel need to be funded right now. I obviously work at a place that recieves government funding, and I'd like that to not go down. No one really wants to pay for services they aren't using. I don't have season tickets to the Vikings, you don't have a library card. Who gets funding, who gets cuts? Who wins? I'm not sure there is a winner. I'm thinking this is a lose/lose situation.
Sheesh, someone sure got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I'm probably not the only one though. Just about everyone is upset over something our government is or isn't doing. Differences in priorities is the biggest factor in that. I'm glad I'm not a politician. They can't win because they've got to say "no" to somebody. And there goes the tantrum again.
All right, I'm a whiner. I'm lucky I still have a job. For now. The cut we've been given is a bit more than my yearly wages. I'm glad the library board recognizes and values my role here as a one-day-a-week worker with a love of libraries and literature. I write the blog, I do story-hour (starts next week!!), and I keep my ear to the ground when it comes to things book and library related. We've cut where we can over the years, and we still have patrons who appreciate what we are able to provide. There are ways of making due with what you have.
Although, it is a lot easier to just throw a tantrum.
One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. ~Sidney Howard