Monday, January 23, 2012

Missed Connection

Last week the mayor of the third largest U.S. city closed branch libraries on Mondays and laid off 176 of its library staff! Literacy is a huge problem in Chicago (and nationally) and cutting off access to the possibility to be or become more literate is going to make this city worse.

People are already limited on resources and limited to increase their resources.  The job market is kaput and those looking for jobs don't have the skills set that the "good" jobs are looking for.  Also, the majority of job applying is done via the Internet. 

The library provides Internet.

The reduction in libraries in a city like Chicago is dangerous.  Shut down the libraries, and we will be left with a Red Eye, with bold letters on the front stating: HOMICIDE REPORT.

The family-oriented branch I live near is now closed on Mondays. 

What a way to start out the week? Wouldn't you rather have your child going to the neighborhood library after school, than returning the first day of the school week after school to sit on the couch watching TV? 
TV has limited options, despite the increase in cable channels. Libraries offer you an array of choices at no charge to the patron.  Including CDs and DVDs.

Many youth these days could probably give you a break down of the major text lingo out there: OMG, BRB, or LOL.  But we should not be laughing if they never used a dictionary book to look up a word or checked out a book at the library. The youth are our future and we seem to forget that.
There is no truer statement than: "Knowledge is Power." Disenfranchised groups, such as girls and women are already at a disadvantage when it comes to access of knowledge.  For the most part females are not encouraged to "be smart." Many are in limited situations: confined to their homes, their neighborhoods or no graduation from high school.

Pregnancy rates of high schoolers and in some cases middle schoolers in Chicago are alarming!  Because education is lacking, especially sexual health education.  Hearsay and misinformation is taking many girls down the wrong path.  And unfortuantely this path can be generational.

I remember in my Sociology class my professer saying that education is a great way to get out of poverty.  As a recent college grad, I would say student  loans can lead you to poverty.  But, I do believe that higher education can open the door to more opportunities.

In order to get to complete a higher education, you must know how to read and have access to reading.

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