I was appalled when I heard that story times and library programs were being attacked by Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan. In an age when people claim “it’s all on the Internet,” we need our libraries more than ever. Information literacy is falling at an alarming rate, thanks to the copy and paste mentality of the majority of Internet users.
The library, as an institution, provides stability in many forms of cultural and information literacy. They uphold our freedoms and are a great socioeconomic leveler. The children who benefit from story times may not get that early literacy lesson anywhere else.
Library programming for all ages brings enrichment to the lives of patrons. Children and families can experience art, music and literature in an environment that is ready to serve them through the next steps of their lives.
As a public librarian, I’ve witnessed the educational growth of entire families due, largely in part, to story times. A story time on dogs generates interest that in turn fosters reading, research and lifelong learning. Libraries are our future. They equip young voters with the foundation necessary to maintain a strong society and government, even down to its last misinformed City Council member.