Don’t close a library in a high poverty neighborhood. Many people who live in the East Central Community are already marginalized and powerless. If knowledge is power and education is the key to success, then we need to keep resources that allow individuals to escape poverty. Poor children have very few books in their home. Children of higher socioeconomic status often have hundreds of books. Libraries are essential in neighborhoods with high poverty and mobility.
To balance the library budget, consider a more equitable solution: Cut hours of availability across the system. Many people have the ability to drive down to the East Side location if their library is closed, but neighborhood libraries are essential to folks with limited transportation options. If the East Side Library has the lowest circulation numbers, don’t close it – promote it. Increase its usage: partner with local schools to encourage at-home reading; support job searches and resume writing on computers.
If Spokane County can buy a racetrack (yes, I know it is a different funding source), hire a police ombudsman (whom we haven’t heard from since increased police shootings), and fund huge overtime pay for fire captains, we can keep the East Side Library open!