Öffentliche Bibliotheken in den USA

Moira Donegan schreibt im Guardian unter dem Titel «This year I’m thankful for US public libraries – beautiful icons of a better civic era» über öffentliche Bibliotheken in den USA (danke an Michaela Spiess für den Hinweis):

«If the public library did not already exist as a pillar of local civic engagement in American towns and cities, there’s no way we would be able to create it. It seems like a relic of a bygone era of public optimism, a time when governments worked to value and edify their people, rather than punish and extract from them. In America, a country that can often be cruel to its citizens, the public library is a surprising kindness. It is institution that offers grace and sanctuary, and a vision of what our country might one day be. (…)

Library budgets are constantly being cut; in New York, Mayor Eric Adams has proposed draconian, multimillion-dollar year-over-year reductions to the public library system’s operating costs, the kind of drastic withdrawals of support that will inevitably force some locations to close.

But the optimism and respect for the people that is represented in the public library is worth taking into the future with us. The public library makes a proposition that’s still radical: that learning, knowledge and curiosity are for everyone, and that the annals of history, literature, science and art might not be just an indulgence of the privileged, but an entitlement of citizenship.»

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