Monday, November 20, 2023

We Lose When Libraries Are Closed



For nearly two centuries, Americans enjoyed having access to free libraries, providing people of all social classes and backgrounds access to vast collections of information, including initially books, periodicals, and maps, and now videos, audiobooks, digital content, and community resources and services. It is a place to explore one’s curiosity, a safe space for inquiry, and an environment conducive for researching, reading, and writing. 

Unfortunately, America’s biggest public library system, the New York Public Library, along with Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library, are shuttering their doors on Sundays, as a result of announced budget cuts by NYC Mayor Eric Adams.  

This will take place Thanksgiving weekend. We will have less to feel thankful for. 

This is a blow to poor people, children, parents, seniors, and anyone who pursues knowledge or seeks refuge from a cold, ugly, and lonely world. A library is a book sanctuary, akin to a house of worship, a shelter to those who just want to feel safe and surrounded by like-minded people who pursue a quiet break from our society at large. 

The first free modern public library was opened in 1833. The Peterborough (N.H.) Town Libraries was the first institution funded by a municipality with the explicit purpose of establishing a free library open to all classes of the community. They must be rolling over in their graves. 

Of course, this is not the first time a library system reduced its services and curtailed its hours, but that doesn’t soothe anyone today. Obviously, the city combined mismanagement and corruption with a slow pandemic recovery and poor management to get to this point. And millions of people pay the price for this. 

Sure, the Internet makes a lot of information and free digital books and materials available to people, but the online world can’t replace buildings housing people. Nor can it play librarian. Nor can it hold in-person events. 

We need our public libraries open every day. The education and social interactions of millions depend on it. 

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  


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