What frugal person doesn’t like libraries? They’re like a video store, only better. Which is why we’re horrified to learn that thanks to the economic meltdown and the state of Pennsylvania’s inability to pass its budget, the Philadelphia Free Library is closing on October 2nd. They’ll be ending all services and programs, and closing all of the buildings. They want all of the books back, too.
Most American libraries receive funding from multiple sources; usually a combination of municipal, state, private, and sometimes federal funds. Depending on the particular mix of funding sources, and whether a library system levies its own taxes or depends on a changing budget line item, a late budget can be catastrophic. That’s what’s happening in Philadelphia—without their regular state aid, they can no longer function.
Meanwhile, if you live in Pennsylvania or just really love libraries, you can contact state legislators about the budget situation. Or open your own rogue library on your front lawn.
(Photo: Patrick Haney)