For some this is enough, but there’s something more important at work here. It does not matter whether or not a public institution, created to provide free services to the communities in which they reside, is “popular.” Conservative think tanks have spent decades coming up with nefarious ways of making government social services seem unpopular by making them work poorly, by making people believe that they only benefit certain groups of people, by lying over and over again about how the free market will provide to those people that the free market has neglected. Right now that’s the only strategy the Republican party has to justify throwing tens of millions of people off of health care. The ONLY strategy.
Along with public education, public libraries in America are arguably the single most important democratic institution in the world. Whether you are rich or poor, whether you have a home or not, the public library offers not simply free services, but free access to information. Information that can help you get a job, help you find a home, help you find the support you need. Libraries can offer an any person, old or young, a chance to educate themselves. Over the past few years, many have tried to use the internet as an excuse for cutting back on the need for libraries. Information is available “for free” on the internet. But our country’s internet and internet access is not free and people such as Republican FCC chair Ajit Pai want to make sure the have nots have even less access to it.
The public library belongs to all of us. Every one of us. And the people that work at the library are paid a pittance for the important institution they maintain.
So fuck you, Mr. Walker.