Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Seattle City Council gave a press conference today

Yes, that's what they did.  I didn't know about it, and I would have continued on in complete ignorance, had it not been for the fact that I had to return some books to the library.  I returned them, and then went to the floor where most of the kinds of books I want to read, are kept(and I found some good stuff, too, later).  But when I got there, it was immediately obvious that Something Was Going On.  The "something" turned out to be a Seattle City Council press conference, which they'd decided to hold in the biggest room in the library.  The part where the council members were speaking, was roped off, mainly, it turned out, to keep people from getting in the way of the innumerable news cameras, not to keep out the "hoi polloi".  There was a very large pink ceramic piggy bank sitting beside the esteemed council members, and as each council member finished speaking, they dropped some symbolic change into the large pink piggy bank, which, they said, was to be added to the Rainy Day Fund.  The reason for this, it turned out, was that our budgetary woes had been sufficient that they had to dip into it to fund some of the many things the City of Seattle must fund, to keep itself running.  And one of those things is the Seattle Public Library system.  One of the council members(I think it was Richard McIver,but I'm not sure), patted himself on the back for saving most of the hours for the library system as a whole, and keeping most of the library staff jobs.  Some libraries are still going to have to cut hours, at least in the next year, but some of them will continue to be open as they are now, the computer system will be there for job seekers, and best of all, there won't be another week-long "furlough" , when the entire system shut down last August. 


All of the Seattle City Council member patted themselves on the back for saving the budget in general, and for their particular areas in particular.  I"m grateful that they found a way; I'm especially grateful, and thankful that I did my part to encourage this to happen, because unemployment is still high around here, and people are going to need those library computers in order to find jobs -- not  everybody has one at home, and I know  that many job seekers don't(or may not have access to the Internet, even if they do), much though they might want such things.  I am grateful that the Seattle City Council was responsive, and ignored the mayor's original request(he ran for reelection, but was voted out of office in the primaries, because he'd become increasingly unpopular because of decisions like this).  I am grateful that we have a library system that, at present, isn't hurting too much, unlike library systems in some other parts of the country.  But there's still plenty of work to be done, and what I'm hoping is, that in the coming year, the Seattle City Council and other library-friendly groups, will seek ways to find some alternate system of funding, so that there can be a cushion against harder economic times, in the future.  the King County Library system has such an "independent" source of funding, so it never faces these kinds of problems.  I hope the Seattle system will work to find something similar.

Anne G

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