On the Value of Public Libraries

Fort Worth Library public computers (note area...

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It makes me proud to be a librarian in a public library…

From On the Commons:

All Hail the PUBLIC Library

The public library is a uniquely American creation. Now we have to fight to keep it public..


Is “public” now a dirty word? Fort Worth has stripped the word from its local library.

“The word ‘public’ has been removed from the name of the Fort Worth Library.
Why? Simply put, to keep up with the times.”

From the Media release on the rebranding of the Fort Worth Library

Fort Worth, you leave me speechless. You’re certainly correct about one thing. The public library is indeed an institution that has not kept up with the times. But given what has happened to our times, why do you see that as unhealthy? In an age of greed and selfishness, the public library stands as an enduring monument to the values of cooperation and sharing. In an age where global corporations stride the earth, the public library remains firmly rooted in the local community. In an age of widespread cynicism and distrust of government, the 100 percent tax supported public library has virtually unanimous and enthusiastic support. (Read more…)