Stand up for libraries

 

Right after Independence Day celebrations and only days from when county Miami-Dade commissioners set a preliminary millage rate that will likely dictate the budget for our public libraries next year, I ponder what my Cuban ancestors would think about our current budget predicament.

The Cuban diaspora is filled with people who came to this land of liberty fleeing oppression and a country where, more than 50 years later, independent librarians are thrown in jail and blogger Yoani Sanchez risks her life to light a path of truth and justice for her people.

We should be alarmed that in our own community, sleight of hand with a budget spreadsheet has quietly dismantled our library system and could continue to erode it further. My ancestors would say that we have veered far off course, but that there is still time to get it right.

If the United States is to remain free, we must have a thriving public library system where anyone can access books, information and the Internet freely.

It’s time to ask the mayor and county commissioners to stand up for universal, free access to information and support a $64-million budget for libraries.

Berta Lommen, Kendall

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