Image via Brick Row Book Shop
If we would stop condemning conservatives and begin talking to them, I am confident that we can convince them that libraries fit very nicely into their political agenda:
- Conservatives say they are into self improvement—the great American pastime of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps. The library is probably the number one self-help institution in America. It’s where immigrants go to learn how to assimilate and succeed.
- Conservatives say they believe strongly in family values. What institution in America does more to serve families than libraries? We cater to the needs of everyone in the extended family from infants to great-grandparents. Go to any (open) public library on a Saturday morning, and you will see that it is filled with families.
- Conservatives say that they believe in fiscal responsibility. What American institution does more with less than the library? What government agency serves more people? What city department gives you more bang for the buck?
- Conservatives say they believe in the Bill of Rights and in particular the protection of their religious liberties afforded by the First Amendment. What profession does more to protect First Amendment rights than the library profession? Our profession’s First Amendment emphasis may differ from the conservative movement’s emphasis, but here at least is a place to start a constructive give and take of views.
- Conservatives say they believe strongly in the importance of religion. What institution does more to provide a wide range of information about all the world’s religions than the library?
In related news, this is what so-called conservatives aren't happy about when it comes to Kentucky libraries: KY Appeals Court: Library Taxes Legal