Library funding could benefit from student volunteers

 

By Tamara Tatevosian, Class of 2011

As many of you already know, the library next to our school might be closing due to limited funding or might decrease its opportunities.

There has been a lot of talk in the press. Several parties think that since there is an economic downturn, the library is a refuge for people of all ages as the senior citizens keep up with the news, the children get homework help, and parents feel that it is the only place where they do not have to spend a lot of money; others believe that the act will “right-size the system to align with the population” and that “this is a chance to rethink about some functions and maybe even combine some related services” as Mayor Nutter put it as is mentioned in an article, “Silence not golden at libraries” in Philly.com.

The city has said that with at least 11 branches closed, they hope to save $8 million towards the billion-dollar gap.


Nevertheless, hopefully the government will make an adequate decision.  Before writing this article, I contacted the Free Library of Philadelphia and asked for an interview. During this interview, I hoped to elaborate on how the students’ volunteering might fill in the possible upcoming gaps that the library might face.  However, several calls and visits to the Free Library of Philadelphia did not yield any response to my request for an interview.  So in this time of hardship, your opinions are most helpful and if you have any ideas on how students can work together to improve the state of matters in libraries, please don’t hesitate to do so.  Feel free to comment on this article or share your ideas here.

I am quite sure that a lot of students would like to volunteer since we need to be involved in community activities that give us experiential learning that takes seriously the importance of life outside the classroom; moreover,  that can be an excellent choice to get volunteering service hours to graduate. We are the ones that need the libraries: we use it for computers, for various books and CDs, and overall to make ourselves more educated. Let us think what we can do to help.
No one should be deprived from access to knowledge and books; after all, this was the main purpose why our Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, started the first free Public Library in the city of Philadelphia.  Let us think together how we can help the library work and support our community as efficiently as it did before.

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