From San Francisco Chronicle
” Californians — and Americans in general — love their libraries. Stacks of studies say so, but the proof is really in the 160 million in-person visits and 32 million online visits California libraries receive every year. In fact, communities like their libraries so much they don’t think libraries are part of government.But taxpayer dollars keep library doors open to provide anyone who wants it the opportunity to improve their lives — by learning to read, by accessing public services, by getting help with a resume, by connecting to the Internet and online databases, by finding material for the visually impaired.Maybe by even checking out a book or two.Around $180 million of America’s investment in its 123,000 libraries comes from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, set for elimination under the president’s budget framework released on March 10. Of that total, roughly $16 million is California’s share.
The independent institute may have been inadvertently swept up in the Trump administration’s stated desire to zero out federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and public broadcasting.Not to diminish the intrinsic value of the arts, but the role libraries play in communities, states and the nation is far broader and more basic.Libraries are an essential part of the nation’s education system.The best investment of a taxpayer dollar is helping someone read better.”