It is unfortunate to see such respectable institutions as libraries faced with budget shortfalls and forced into making choices that could affect patron services (1/21, Local, “KC library faces severe cuts”).
Budget shortfalls are often a result of problem legislation and ill-informed decision making. Each year lawmakers fill bills that threaten the livelihood and role that Missouri libraries play in every community. Whether it’s an issue related to tax abatements or assessments, tax increment financing or immigration, libraries are affected.
Now is the time for all Missourians to advocate for libraries. On Feb. 10, the Missouri Library Association will be sponsoring our annual Missouri Library Advocacy Day in Jefferson City. These advocacy efforts help to inform and educate lawmakers about the value of libraries. The public is welcome to join the association as we walk the halls of the state Capitol and meet with lawmakers to stress the importance of library issues.
Libraries serve as the cornerstones of communities. It is crucial to their survival that we advocate. More information can be found at www.molib.org/legislative/day.html
Kimberlee N. Ried
President, Missouri Library Association