Friday, December 16, 2011

Lafayette Library

Today we didn't do much: everyone was recovering from jet lag and exhaustion (Little R woke up every hour until 6 am, when she arose for good: she had to sleep in bed next to me to achieve even this). B left for the East Coast this morning (he'll be gone for a week), and after giving him a ride, I did nothing more ambitious than venture out to the nearest public library in Lafayette.

Contra Costa county has an incredible public library system because they have amazing funding. Most people move here for the school district (it's among the very best in California), so education/library taxes usually pass; in addition, there are a lot of wealthy people here, so private donations are also abundant. The libraries are mostly housed in brand new, beautiful buildings, decorated with lovely original art, and full of books, DVDs, CDs and new computers. The libraries are so nice that they are a popular hang-out spot for teenagers, schoolchildren, retirees, and families (the constant public events, including lectures, concerts and classes, help with this).

I love libraries (because I love reading and books), so it's wonderful to see a library which is such a lovely place and vibrant part of the community. But it makes me sad too, because other libraries (like the ones in poor neighborhoods just over the hill) are run-down, crumbling and full of psychotic homeless people muttering to themselves. The number of books and other resources is far fewer, and due to budget cuts, the library might not even be open. It seems so unfair that even libraries are not evenly distributed.

Thinking of my seatmate yesterday, here's the Bible on the subject: "For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him." Sad but true.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    I just discovered your blog a few days ago and have been secretly reading your previous posts. For some reason, i like reading your pieces. Maybe it's because i am 32 and can relate a lot from what you wrote( well, the story is your but i share some opinions). I normally follow blogs with lots of pictures (typical blog readers) but your blog is an exception :-)
    Enjoy the holiday season with your family!
    Oom (a Thai who lives in Germany)