Big week for library advocates

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The brouhaha this spring was just one act in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's ongoing budgeting-woe drama. Right now, further budget cuts may mean that 16 libraries close ... and no one knows for how long or if they will reopen.

I live near a library and can tell you that every day the parking lot is full. Every time I visit, the computer room is full. The children's section is full of laughter. Help desk workers are bustling. Volunteers are returning books to the shelves. The place is alive and, in my community, it is a much needed resource for children, educators, parents, the elderly, the unemployed, the under-employed and people like me who consume massive amounts of information.

If you'd like to weigh in on the library's budget struggle, here's what the library suggests you do (and they suggest you do it NOW):

Attend two meetings, one of which is this week:

E-mail, call or write your Commissioners and encourage them to support a level of funding that will sustain library service in our community. You can contact them all at once via countycommissioners@mecklenburgcountync.gov.

Encourage the City Council to offer the county one-time financial support on behalf of the library. Contact the Council here.

Contact the mayor. Or e-mail/call the town managers of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, and Pineville to thank them for meeting with the Library and encourage them to consider giving financial help to support libraries. Learn more at http://www.meckboe.org/pages/municipalities.html

Check out the library's call to action for more suggestions on what to say, and who to say it to, here.

This isn't the time to assume that someone else will voice a similar opinion. This is the time for you to speak up and let our public officials know what the library, once among the best in the nation, means to you, your family and your community.

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