Saving Libraries: A Practical Proposal

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November 2011
by Roy M. Carlisle
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My memory is vivid. I was peddling my old bicycle down State Street in Salem, OR. My basket was full of books, and they were due that day. My mother couldn’t drive me downtown to return the books because Dad took the car to work. She finally consented to let me cycle clear across town and return the books myself, even though I was only 10 (I am 64 today) and had not gone to the downtown Salem Public Library alone before.

I was stoked. Not only could I return the books, but I could hang out, browse, and discover something new to read. On that summer afternoon I discovered a series of biographies about famous men and women in American history. My love of biography began that day, after I picked George Washington Carver off the shelf, a scientist who discovered more than 300 uses for the peanut, and read much of the book that afternoon while sitting at a library table.

I could tell you many such stories, as I was one of those boys who discovered books and libraries early and have loved them passionately throughout my life.

Now, because of funding issues, the future of public libraries is a matter of serious concern in most communities across America. Many people doubt the relevance of maintaining houses for …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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