Thanks so much for your wonderful commentary discussing the joy of discovering the public libraries (“On the books,” June 7). Just this Tuesday (June 5), I joined a group of concerned citizens led by Brian Reynolds, director of San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries, at the office of State Senator Sam Blakeslee to discuss the parlous condition of funding for this state’s library systems.
As it stands, if cuts continue to be made, California is in danger of losing $15 million in matching federal funds, part of which provide monies for Braille and Talking Books. Failure to reinstate funds for the literacy programs could mean that here in San Luis Obispo County, as many as 5,500 fewer adult learners would be tutored by volunteers. (An estimated 23 percent of California’s adult population lacks basic literacy skills. That is one scary statistic!)
Just as highways, roads, and sewers form part of the infrastructure upon which we depend for transportation of people and goods and the wellbeing and health of our citizens, libraries are part of the infrastructure of ideas that foster an appreciation of life-long learning so important to maintaining the life blood of an educated electorate and a vibrant democracy.
I know I am preaching to the choir, but I do thank you for getting the word out to the world.