Friday, March 09, 2007

Southern Oregon's Looming Library Closure

The librarian asked me almost as soon as I walked in the door this afternoon if I had seen the article in the Chronicle last Sunday. I said no and she said she had left a copy of it with my stack of holds. It was a hard copy printed off the San Francisco Chronicle website. She was referring the article by Meredith May who had interviewed me for fifteen minutes in the Phoenix library two weeks ago today. I missed its appearance, having been so busy last weekend trying to finish Stephen King's Lisey's Story and Candace B. Pert's Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d, both of which had been due last Friday so I was essentially 'renting' them for twenty cents per day and every hour I spent with them past Friday was an hour I couldn't spend with the twenty-five items coming due today.

I made my self wait until I'd unpacked the two book bags of books and DVDs I was returning before I started trying to read the article. I had barely reached the paragraphs in which May quoted me before the librarian was turning out the lights. It was five o;clock and closing time. I usually make my run in the early afternoon but today I was watching DVDs right up until four. Today it was Rebel Without a Cause and the four hour BBC mini-series, Summer's Lease.

I heard a bit of the Twilight Zone theme playing in my head as I read the headline of May's article: Largest library closure in U.S. looms. It was spooky because I had been using the word 'loom' all day yesterday in the comments that I left on Thursday Thirteen posts. But only superficially because you gotta admit the word 'loom' is just a natural fit with the rest of the phrase with it's alliterative L.

I have been working on a post that would explain the cause of the impending closure since mid December. I've collected a lot of links and a lot of facts regarding the history of the funding that we're loosing. But I keep putting off getting it written up because I've been so focused on the books and movies I'm about to loose access to. I had started to work on it again this week, hoping to post it in tandem with my TT #23 below because I anticipated more questions from my commenters about why this was happening. It is too complex a story to answer in a blog post comment. I might still write it up someday but for now I am just going to direct you to May's article as she does an excellent job of summing up the situation but adds the personal touches I could not come close to by including stories of the people who will be effected by the closure.

I learned from her article that I was not the only one who had such an extreme reaction to the news, nor was mine the most extreme. Here are the grafs that quote me:

Joy Davis, who has been blogging about the impending closure
of her branch in the small town of Phoenix, said she's been getting sympathy worldwide in response to her posts.

"When I first heard the library is going to close, I almost passed out -- I had to sit down," said Davis, who checks out about 30 books a week to research her writing projects. Currently, she's interested in pinpointing the source of the conflict between creationism and evolution.

"I have a set of Britannica books, but that's not really a
replacement," she said.

Despite her Internet savvy, Davis doesn't trust online
information and depends on the library for solid data.

If you want to know what the spotted owl has to do with our closing libraries you'll just have to go read May's article. It might be awhile before I get my own explanatory post up now that I have such an excellently written and informative piece to link to.

Four weeks minus five hours and the clock ticks...

(Oh, and this is the fifth of the five posts my husband challenged me last Sunday to have published before he gets up Saturday morning. My prize is several hours worth of his time and effort and expertise used to promote Joystory for me. This is the perfect post to have sitting at the top all weekend as he applies his magic touch.)

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