Today’s post isn’t about writing, or what I’m reading (Return of the Crimson Guard, Alif the Invisible, and I just started Ship of Fools). I have another flash piece coming out in the morning, too. But my life isn’t all books and reading and writing about books and reading. Tuesday, I went to the inaugural meeting of the Friends of the Ponce de Leon (Atlanta) Branch Library.
I’ve never actually been part of a Friends of the Library organization. though I’ve run the libraries on two of my ships, and worked with a couple of literacy programs. The idea, though, fascinates me, and I highly recommend everyone reading this to go check out your own library’s programs.
I’ve tagged this post “Banned Books Week” because I really wish I’d posted this last back then. It’s one thing to talk about saving a book that people are trying to ban, restrict, or otherwise make unavailable. But what about the vast majority of books that aren’t banned? Millions of them, literally, are pulped every year, and not just because they’re falling apart, or because they’re unneeded copies of books that no longer have the demand they once did; library branches close, or they can’t afford new space, or many other reasons. On top of that, while worldwide literacy (let alone US literacy) is at its highest level ever, that does not mean everyone is book-literate, or computer-literate. Every library I’ve been to, especially city libraries, has programs to address just these issues, but people who care about books and about reading have to do something about it.
After all, the best way to get rid of something is to simply not care about it.