Unfit Edit

Editor:

To forswears common err ballyhoo

My poem was of “Untrue Blue View”

Status quo RoundTable

Chose to prolong fable

With dele of my key word “Untrue.”

— Robert Bagby

Housing Options’ Wish List

Editor: 

We thought this would be a good time to share our “wish list” for Housing Options. Our clients could use the following, gently used items, all in small sizes: couches, upholstered chairs, kitchen tables and chairs, bedroom dressers, night stands and end tables. We would also like any of the following items, new: knife sets, toasters, coffee pots and pot-and-pan sets.

For more information call Diane Bordwell, 847-866-6144, ext.14 or Starla Sipkins, 847-866-144, ext.18.

 — Melba Graffius Swoyer, Director,

Finance and Development Housing Options

Save The Libraries

Editor:

As Evanston once again finds itself at budget time considering the closing of the branch libraries, I feel like I’ve somehow
wandered on to the set of Saturday Night Live’s REALLY?! skit with Seth Rogen and Amy Poehler.

I mean, seriously, can we really be talking about this again? In the ten years my family’s lived in Evanston, we’ve come up against this issue time and again. With the budget deficit and pension shortfalls now reaching tens of millions of dollars, could we really be talking about closing libraries as a solution? Really?

The branch libraries are critical to the neighborhoods they serve, particularly in light of the recent economy. The meager savings provided by closing the branches would hardly offset the hardships which their closings would mean to the community. In fact, Libraries and Information Science News says libraries are a vital community resource in the information age, and outlines what libraries can do for a community in an economic downturn:

“Data about library use in an economic downturn provides another  important example of how libraries adapt to serve their communities and the value patrons place on library services.

A University of Illinois study from 2002 examined public library circulation at monthly intervals between 1997 and 2001 for 18 library systems serving populations of million or more. The study found that circulation increased significantly after March 2001, when the National Bureau of Economic Research marked the start of the last recession. Circulation in March was 8.3 percent higher than would be expected from the trend observed since January 1997.  In the current economic downturn there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that libraries are serving a similar role for patrons today.”

Evanston’s branch libraries are a unique resource, able to stimulate the minds of the neighbors, as well as the local economy for neighboring businesses. Access to computers, technology, newspapers and books should be available to everyone, and the illustrious main branch cannot serve the needs of those who do not have easy access to downtown, including children, disabled and elderly patrons without transportation — especially those with an interest in being ‘green.’

My kids are now 8, 12 and 14, and amazingly, they will still walk with me to the North Branch to … wait for it … check out books. To read! It’s wonderful to have a destination that doesn’t require money in your pocket, or a trip in the car to simply go and foster a love of learning. I’m proud to live in a community that supports those efforts as mportant, and would be ashamed to think that other priorities could ever take precedence. Really.

–Lori Keenan