Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Won't Miss it Until It is Gone

10-10-10.  That special date.

On this date, I walked into the public library in Vestal, NY, the only library in this area that is open on Sunday.  And there, I found a petition to save the library.



The library is having 1/4 of its budget cut.  No new books, and employees will (according to one of the librarians I spoke to) have substantial cuts in their hours.

So, what does this have to do with Bil?  

Well....

When I first started to research the various issues I have had to advocate on behalf of Bil (back around 2000), there were various sources of information I used.  One in particular, I found, had free, extensive resources and people not that knowledgeable about autism, but very willing to listen, to learn, and to help.

One woman spent about 1/2 hour with me, and talked about the flood of requests she was experiencing from other people.  I talked to her a bit about autism.

That person?  A librarian.

You won't miss the libraries until they are gone, my friend.  They are far cries from what you may think. They are not musty dim places where librarians who never married shush you if you dare to breathe loudly.  (and perhaps they never were.)  Now they host internet access for many needing people.  They help people look for work.  They help people in all types of need, including, yes, people who have a family member newly diagnosed with autism-and don't know where to turn.

The Vestal library, until earlier this year, carried Exceptional Parent magazine.  They were the only local library (to the best of my knowledge) that did.  They don't any more; they didn't have the funds to renew their subscription.

Libraries, in my point of view, are as important as police and fire protection, as important as garbage pickup.  They safeguard our freedom of speech (yes, librarians.  Not politicians-with apologies to those who do care.)  Without them, where would we be?

Think your tax money is wasted on them?

Think again.  Especially if you have a family member with autism.

Knowledge is power.  Please support our local libraries in their fight to stay afloat.

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