To the Editor:
The heart and soul of any community is its public library. When it is harmed, the community suffers.
On April 29, parish voters will decide whether to approve massive funding cuts to their library system. While these cuts have a fancy name called millage rededication, that highfalutin term can’t mask what this really is, namely serious harm to our wonderful, local resource. To vote yes on this measure, this millage rededication, is to vote no to citizens of this city and to Natchitoches Parish.
Here, we are fortunate to have a library system that has become a key ally in providing educational services for our children. Here, we are fortunate to have a library system that is a digital lifeline to folks who cannot pay for internet access at home or computers they need to go online to look for work. Here, we are fortunate to have such a place that welcomes all of us to come in and learn about our city, parish, state, country, and world. It is a space where our kids can thrive, and all of us can enter and feel safe.
These days libraries have become easy targets for budget cutters who believe they are luxuries not necessities. That is short-sighted and ill-advised, and they are wrong. This library is more than the parish book lender. It is an essential service provider to all parish citizens.
Please vote NO vote on April 29.
Brian Gabrial, Natchitoches