As a graduate student in the Department of Library and Information Science program at the University at Buffalo, I am gravely concerned for the well-being of our Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System. The proposed budget cuts will not only affect current employment and services, but will drastically impair future job hunting for our program graduates.
Does County Executive Joel Giambra realize he has a first-class library and information science program in his back yard that would drastically suffer from his proposal? Shame on him for his drastic scare tactics and threats to force the increase in sales tax by threatening the budget of one of the most utilized and necessary services in our region.
The library provides so many resources to Erie County, not only literature and multimedia materials, but also job skills such as free computer workshops, educational and recreational programs for our children and employment opportunities. Western New York already suffers from extreme joblessness and poor morale. Taking away one of our few great cultural institutions will only make matters worse.
I have been a library patron for more than 20 years, and I still actively use and support the many benefits and facilities it offers. Having been fortunate enough to be an employee of such a fine institution, I realize more than many just how much the employees and patrons need the library system.