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As a former member of the Lancaster County Library Board, a retired English teacher and life-long library patron, I feel I must comment on County Administrator Steve Willis’ remarks regarding budget cuts: “It affects quality of life but if we didn’t provide library or recreation services, the world wouldn’t end.” (“Budget is County’s 800-pound Gorilla” Dec. 28th edition Lancaster News)
Yes, we are in the midst of a frightening economic situation and have many unemployed citizens. However, the library does much more for the jobless and other patrons than offer “quality of life.”
For the past several months, the Lancaster County Library has been swamped with people who are using the computers for job searches, for filling out job applications online, for writing resumes and cover letters, etc.
Cutting the hours of operation would have a definite negative impact on those who need its services for more than recreational reading. Many county residents would have no Internet access without the library. For them it is not just about “quality of life.”
It is about survival – finding a job would make them able to provide food, clothing, housing, etc., for themselves and their families.
While the “world wouldn’t end” if the library’s hours were cut, life for these and other library patrons would be further compromised, as they would have even more roadblocks to finding employment.
Library facilities provide resources the unemployed need to find jobs. Reducing our unemployment rate truly will improve the quality of life in our community.
I urge County Council to be diligent in finding ways to avoid cutting the hours of operation for the library (and recreation centers).