Dubbed the Art Basel of books, Miami Book Fair International is one of the finest book fairs in existence. But the power of literacy shouldn’t be celebrated merely one week a year. If county government properly invested in libraries, we could have a world-class system and a literate community.
According to the United Way’s new report on poverty, almost half of South Floridians are struggling to survive. If we invest in libraries so they can resume adult-literacy classes gutted by budget cuts and offer other learning programs to help people become more employable, we could begin to reduce poverty.
If we reconfigure branches to offer Maker Spaces with more office equipment so entrepreneurs can brainstorm and hold meetings to help build their small businesses, libraries could become centers of economic development. We are only scratching the surface of the value of our libraries and should start to put the pressure on local lawmakers now instead of waiting until budget time. Planning to invest in, grow and reconfigure our libraries is a year-round affair.
Berta Lommen, Miami