Letters: New Orleans libraries deserve budget cuts

I applaud Mayor Latoya Cantrell and the City of New Orleans for having the courage to put Prop 2 on the December 5 ballot. If it passes, this brave proposal would strip away almost 40% of the library system’s current budget. It’s high time somebody curtails the extravagant spending these freeloaders have enjoyed for far too long.

I am a regular user of the libraries here in New Orleans, and let me just tell you, ever since they passed that budget increase back in 2015, it’s all gone to hell. I’m talking more author nights, more classes, extended hours, more staff. It’s awful. And don’t get me started on all the new computers they added.

Back in my day, libraries were only for reading. Whatever happened to that? Nowadays, it seems like every time I go into my local branch to pick up a new Nora Roberts novel or flip through a copy of Nola Boomers, I see someone on a computer making a resume or printing a job application. Not to mention all the kids using them for homework or even games! I swear if these kids cared about reading as much as they care about Roblox, they could be the next Dan Brown. Don’t they have computers at home like the rest of us? 

Honestly, you would not believe some of the things I’ve personally witnessed these liberal librarians assist people with. I’ve been keeping a list of the insanity. Free notary public services, voter registration, postpartum support, early-stage Alzheimer’s support, free HIV testing, free yoga classes, Spanish conversation circle, English conversation circle, sewing classes, storytime for children, and healthcare enrollment assistance. 

Why on earth are people getting help filing their taxes at the library? 

I even once saw someone drop off a prom dress so it could be used by a girl who couldn’t afford to buy one. I mean, where does it end? 

And don’t even think about getting a reasonable answer from the staff. When I asked my librarian why she was helping a woman fill out her food stamps application, do you know what she told me? She said the state told people to go to their local libraries to set up accounts and apply! That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Surely the state wouldn’t force libraries to handle basic government services without extra funding or training to do so.

These things aren’t the library’s responsibility. I don’t care that Prop 2 won’t raise my taxes whether it passes or fails. Life isn’t all about money. Libraries should only be for books that I want to read. 

If you feel like I do, and you think New Orleans public libraries deserve these budget cuts, then vote YES on Prop 2 on December 5th.

I like to think of it like this: a NO vote means NO budget cuts and that’s a NO from me!

Anita Dyck 

retired housewife

Lakeview

MNN is committed to publishing a diversity of voices, especially those that challenge preconceived notions regarding rationality or decency. If you have an opinion that you just can’t keep to yourself, we’d love to hear it. Send a message to our Opinion editor: don@member-news.org.

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