Letters to the Editor

Show supervisors you support public libraries

I have appreciated the Sun Herald's coverage of the ongoing discussion surrounding funding for the Hancock County Library System.

I was one of several community members who attended the February workshop meeting held by the Board of Supervisors. Over thirty community members spoke at this meeting against privatization and in support of continuing current funding for the library.

I was disappointed to learn that the Board is still considering a reduction in funding. This is even more concerning when considered in the context of the proposed federal budget, which could mean complete elimination of federal funding for libraries.

I've heard many question the importance of a public library in today's technology-driven world.

To quote my favorite author Margaret Atwood: "There are an infinite variety of tyrannies and dystopias, but they all share one trait: the ferocious opposition to free thought, open minds, and access to information. Where people are free to learn, to share, to explore, feel and dream, liberty grows. This is why the library matters so much. It is a democratizing and liberating force like none other. The library encourages new thinking in unexpected directions. It offers support to immigrants, students, to anyone with a well-developed curiosity or deep need for community. It is a place for minds to meet minds and hearts to move hearts."

No public comments will be taken at the Board's June 22 meeting, but I hope all who support a strong public library system will attend in solidarity against the current library proposal.

Melissa Kirkup

Diamondhead

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