It's Library Week - Save our libraries!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Like corner groceries, full service gas stations, drive-in movies, the Charleston, dinosaurs, and typewriters, we fear that in the future our public libraries will be no more.

For today's generation, most of the past generation, and, for sure, future generations, there's no turning back the pages on books, on people reading books, and people reveling in the relaxation and succulence of wrapping one's self in a good book with no outside distractions messing up the wonderful reverie good literature provides.

Computers and hand-held I-Pads are tomorrow's "books" and there is no way out. The new generation has been raised on computers and they will forever remain their "tool" of choice to access any and all future literary endeavors.

God love and bless all you bookworms from days of yore, and those who still read books, work in and for our libraries, and support reading the written word.

We can see the writing on the wall and off the pages as the popularity of books and libraries slowly spirals downward into irrelevance because today's children and tomorrow's adults have been weaned by technology off reading books, magazines, newspapers...

We are truly thankful for the many dedicated "soldiers" (volunteers) who man our library staffs, boards, and support groups. Without them doing their best to perpetuate reading, the battle already would have been lost.

But, as cities fight budget cuts and libraries become less and less relevant, those architectural miracles will face more and more financial shortfall and, ultimately, wither and die on the vine as a cultural phenomenon that has outlived their purpose.

This is harsh thought and an indictment of parents and grandparents who have not "turned on" their children to the immense, magical wonders of reading the written word on a page.

But it is factual.

In addition, libraries also have increased competition from the mega-book stores in the big city malls where many now shop for the experience to purchase a book or magazine, rather than checking one out for free at the library.

Cherokee is extremely fortunate to have a fantastic, well-equipped, well-run "Carnegie" library, and an appealing downtown book store - The Book Vine. Both staffs do their very best to instill the wonders of reading for all ages in this community.

But parents, teachers, and siblings must still do better to regain and brighten that flicker of flame that lies in all of us to curl up with a good book when leisure time allows.

Reading is an enjoyable process of acquiring knowledge, personal enrichment, entertainment, and keeping in tune with past and current events.

Come on, people, what's not to like?