Two years ago when we learned out beloved library branch was being considered for closure due to budget cuts, we mobilized. We wrote letters, we made cardboard signs and printed flyers, we stood on the sidewalk and demonstrated, we even went to the county commissioners meeting and I stood up and protested while my kids stood by and looked justifiably mournful.
Our library was saved, but apparently not because of the efforts of hundreds of loyal patrons like ourselves. Our branch was saved because of the remarkable ingenuity of some library administrator. This person came up with an alternative way to reduce the budget in order to keep our branch’s doors open to the public.
Every book or CD or video in the Wake County Library system has a three-inch white sticker on the back so the due date could be stamped on it. This was necessary because certain materials had different due dates, some items could only be checked out for a week, while others could be out for four weeks.
Last week, the stickers were eliminated and every item is now checked out for three weeks. This simple change has freed up enough money in the budget to keep our Southeast Regional Branch open. I wish I could find out whose idea this was. And I wish even more fervently that we had people in congress with half as much sense.