Thanks to the economic downturn, it's been a rough few years for public libraries. Budgets have been slashed—cuts in California just eliminated funding for the rest of the fiscal year for the state's public libraries—staff have been laid off, and hours of operation have been scaled back. But despite the tough times, libraries remain safe places where kids can take their homework and study after school, fall in love with a good book, and learn something new.
This short, inspiring video from the New York Public Library features three New York City kids talking the positive impact libraries have had on their lives. Helen, 6, tells how she set up a lemonade and cookie stand in order to raise money for the cash-strapped library. Angel says he heads to the library because his brother is always blasting loud music and he needs somewhere quiet to do his homework and work on his novel. Khadija started reading Plato and Socrates after coming across their work in the library.
Anyone with a love for reading and learning can relate to the kids' excitement. Let's hope that when our lawmakers get around to setting state budgets in 2012, they keep Angel's fledgling novel and Khadija's budding love of Greek philosophy in mind.