Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our public libraries are a symbol of American civility

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Public libraries were born from the ideals expressed in our Declaration of Independence. Simply put, a public library exists to serve the public’s interest. It gives anyone with a willingness to learn the chance to do so. It is a symbol of American civility, the boot strap that facilitates literacy and enables intellectual growth and progression within a community. It is the most prolific source of nutrients for a hungry and curious mind. A person of any age, race, culture or creed can wander freely into a public library and find inspiration to satisfy his or her curiosity and better their standing in life. The public library is a uniquely American invention molded from American values and philosophies. 

Since its inception in 1833, the American public library’s prime directive has been to provide communities with easy access to educational materials and resources. As Americans, we understand that those on the front lines sustaining our democracy and protecting our innovation as a civilized society are well informed. In recent news a 14-year-old Pakistani girl was shot because she wanted access to knowledge. Our forefathers understood that offering free access to knowledge was satisfying deep moral and intellectual needs required in a civilized society. 

Our dependence on government has been a point of contention in the last decade, and somehow libraries have been lumped into that argument. Somehow some of us have forgotten that public libraries are not a problem of government dependence, they are the solution. So say no to inefficiency. Say no to corruption. Say no to waste. But say yes to a public resource that gives back more abundantly than we give to it. Say yes to a public resource that has done nothing but say yes to the citizens of this city since it opened its doors. It is now our chance as Americans to stand up and be counted. Please vote yes on November 6th on Henderson Libraries Question 1.

For more information about the Henderson Library Question 1 tax initiative visit the website here

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