Monday, February 28, 2011

Military Families Need Libraries

Liz, I'm a bit late to your Librarian Love challenge, but here it is!

Librarian Sondy Eklund has sent an open letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, asking that they restore funding to our libraries, reversing the deep cuts that have hit the system over the last two years.

I don't always comment on such posts, but I did today, on behalf of military families. Here's what I said:

I’m a Fairfax County resident, but I’m also part of a military family. We’ve moved many, many times as part of my husband’s service, but the library is one of the first places we go when we arrive in a new community. We scan the bulletin boards for jobs and classes and summer camps, we talk to librarians about what’s unique in the local area, we take our kids—who know no one yet— to story hours and library activities, we check out books that comfort and inform and sustain us. The truth is that every move involves stress and disruption and uncertainty. We might be in temporary housing. We might be facing an immediate deployment. But the library is, and always has been, part of how a new place, ever so slowly, comes to feel like “home.”
I challenge the Board of Supervisors to imagine that THEY are new to this area of Virginia, and to go to the smallest local branch of the library nearest them for one afternoon. What will they find? Who will welcome them? Will the library even be open?
I can’t think of any defensible reason why libraries—which are wildly successful at carrying out their mission—should not be saluted and honored and yes, financially supported, for the outstanding service they give to the people of Fairfax County. They’ve always been there for us.

Please, if you have something to add, Sondy's open letter and blog post are here. And Liz, thanks for the Librarian Love challenge---it isn't over! 


  1. Wow, Sara! Thanks for commenting and linking to my post! I am really hoping that as the Board members consider the budget, they will realize that the cuts to the Library have hurt the community, and should be restored. And it's not just one librarian who thinks so!

  2. Excellent letter, Sara! I never thought about it, but we always did the same thing whenever we moved, too.


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