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Queens Library Stops Buying Books

January 28, 2011

Photo: Flickr user azrasta

WYNC reported that after $4.5 million was cut from the Queens Library’s budget, the library stopped buying books so they didn’t have to reduce hours or staff.  QL’s CEO attributed this decision to the fact that libraries are more than just about the books within them: “It really comes down to libraries being about community — being a place for seniors in the morning, kids afterschool.”  While this is certainly true, libraries have always been about providing access to information, including information that is new and current, and I can’t help but find this announcement rather disturbing.  I can only hope that this is a temporary measure meant to gain the attention of elected officials and to push the public to stand up for these important community institutions.  However, if this is the beginning of a trend, and libraries fail to provide their users with access to new published works, it is yet another win for Amazon and another loss for the American people.

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