So after this idiocy, in which some Fox News reporter asked, “Are libraries necessary, or a waste of tax money?”, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey sets her straight. This “reporter’s” argument was that, because some particular section of the stacks (non-circulating bound periodicals, for the record) was not in use during the particular time that she was there, libraries are a waste of money. After all, everyone was “just” using the computers.
“And yes, we proudly provide free access to the internet because so much information today is found online, something you should know from your own work. … There continues to exist in this country a vast digital divide. It exists along lines of race and class and is only bridged consistently and equitably through the free access provided by the Chicago Public Library and all public libraries in this nation.”
“Chicagoâ€™s schools offer the shortest school day in the nation. As schools slash their budgets for school libraries and shorten their classroom teaching time, thousands of children flock to Chicagoâ€™s public libraries every day afterschool, in the evening and on weekends for homework assistance from our librarians and certified teachers hired by the public library.”
Thank you, Mary Dempsey, for being super awesome.