Ripples in our community

If you don’t give human beings an outlet to create, they will find something to destroy.

Allowing skate parks, projects like Wynwood Walls, and Libraries – they allow the humanity in us to shine especially for the youngest.

So I write to defend libraries. I hear “I don’t use libraries, close them. Who’ll miss 10, 12, 14. There are too many.”

Librarians invent programs. If I’d have known Israel Hernandez-Llach, the 18 year old who died after being tasered in Miami Beach, if my staff and I could’ve enticed his artistic side to join library art contests, could’ve worked with him to inspire artists around him to make something from just ideas – our daily work for the community then matches our worth. We channel vandalism into elevated creativity. It rarely makes the front pages.

We, the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County, are being ripped off by selling off of assets that WE have paid for over decade. Realize that millions were invested in a 49-location sharing institution. The books, computers, trained staff are being removed from your ability to use them and sold. The profiteers use the word “t” word (aka sharing) as an obscenity, but are in the right place at the right time to profit from the dismantling. Go visit the Miami-Dade County Store in Hialeah.

“Paying it forward” stories about true goodness from total strangers gives you the warm and fuzzies. “Paying it forward” IS why we are taxed. We invest in our community to help others. But, taxes are not supposed to be just randomly spent and it’s not supposed to be just a lottery win for one person. It’s on a larger and a grander scale to actually make an impact that’s supposed to last for your children’s children’s benefit.

The library has evolved from books to havens. In their communities, it is a controlled safe space, a place with professional adult role models. Non-sectarian, community places that aren’t regulated by how much money is in your wallet or your social status.

Kids are rescued by their nearby library. It balances an amazing array of resources against the deprivation due to their poverty level. These are the same neighborhoods in which the car doors are securely locked even when driving over 40MPH.

So, why so many libraries in Miami-Dade? Well, kids have to walk there.

Rapid fire, thoughtless closings of libraries across the county when they were fiscally sound from this fiscal year to next, demonstrates poor management, poor planning by a strong-armed robber – our own strong Mayor.

I wish I’d known Israel Hernandez-Llach. I would have had him teach art to other kids at the library.

-Library Employee #251


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