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Save our New Orleans Public Libraries: Vote For the Millage Increase

New Orleans Public Libraries has 14 libraries in its system that serve everyone. Yes, everyone… even if you don’t use a library. I explain below. I use the Nix library on Carrollton Avenue and I check out books from there several times a year.

Save our New Orleans Public Libraries: Vote For the Millage Increase

If I go on Amazon and look for a book before I buy it I usually go to the New Orleans public libraries site, nutrias.org, and see if it’s available. A click here and a click there and I am able to find out if the library has it in its system. If it does I can order it with another click and have it sent to the Nix library.

Through email and text they notify me when the book is ready to be picked up. This usually only takes a day or two. I pick it up and enjoy it for a couple weeks and if I haven’t finished it I can renew it pretty easily either by making a phone call any time of day to a recorded message system or with one easy click on the library website. And, boom, within a matter of a couple minutes I get to keep the book for another 3 weeks. Pretty cool.

As things get more expensive and salaries need to be raised to keep up with inflation the New Orleans public library system demands more funds to keep operating.

But did you know that not only can you get books, you can get music CDs and Hollywood movies from the library? And importantly for our under-privileged citizens it also provides a place for those without computers or Internet access to go online and apply for jobs. It also provides access to courses and information so that they can improve themselves and get a better education.

And you know this whole thing with people thinking “why the heck do we need libraries any more with everything going digital.” Well, here is the thing: I hate to read things on a computer screen or any kind of screen.

It’s been discovered that your brain reacts differently to stuff you read on a screen as compared to actual words in a book or newspaper or magazine. Your eye scans the words differently. It’s been discovered that you retain the information you read in a book better than what you read on a screen.

You know when TV came about people were saying, well, it’s the end of radio. They also said it was the end of movies. Ha. That didn’t happen.

When the DVD came out they also said it was the end of movies. Also, not true. In fact, we have more movie theaters than ever. So just because we can read a book on a screen does not mean that is the end of real books.

Nor are we old-fogeys because we prefer to do our reading in actual print form. There is nothing better than sitting comfortably with a physical book in your hands that you can flip back and forth and actually see with your own eyes how many pages you have left to read.

You can’t flip through a screen no matter how good the technology is. Physical books will never go away. That is just the reality of it. And neither will digital books either. They complement each other now. But there ain’t nothing better than reading a real book.

If the library does not get a millage increase they will have to lay people off, close seven libraries and cut back on services. The Nix library which has been open for decades would have to close. That would be a shame, not only for people who get books from there but for people who use the library day in and day out.

Even if you don’t use the library it still serves you. It provides opportunity for people in the community who don’t have the personal resources to better their lives. And that is good for everyone.

So vote for the millage increase. Help save our New Orleans public libraries. It’s important.

Posted in New Orleans Books, New Orleans Life, New Orleans News, New Orleans Videos.

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