$30,000 saved by library furloughs, $millions for building construction —Idelle Dear @ LCC 2013-01-08

Idelle Dear noted we’re up to 12 library furlough days, and reported a flaw in that picture to the 8 January 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

I looked across the street and there are millions of dollars being spent on the construction of the hospital, construction of the VSU Health Sciences building. And yet what is happening, because this is a mandatory furlough for all employees, is that people who are employed by the South Georgia Regional Library, most of whom are minimum wage, work part time, rely on the income: they are going to lose out….

We’d heard about these state-mandated furlough closings at a library board meeting. Idelle Dear spelled out some of the consequences, and made some telling comparisons.

Something is wrong with this picture, and I realize there are different kinds of money, but something is wrong with this picture if we can spend millions and millions of dollars on construction of these buildings and yet shut down the library and the employees who are in low income are going to be affected.

She said she wasn’t sure most people even knew about all this. And she heard somebody had said most people have Internet at home, but

…that’s just so not true. Many people use the library who can’t afford Internet at home. They use it for filling out job applications, for doing homework… many uses of the Internet…. And of course there are a lot of people who check out books, check out DVDs, use the meeting rooms constantly, and there are all the education programs for the children. So the library is very much needed and very important for the community.

And I think I neglected to mention that the amount of savings due to these 12 furlough days is $30,000. And that is just so piddling compared to the amount being spent on these buildings, So I’m here to ask that y’all come up with money so that we can keep the library open.

What will the Commission decide is more important? Keeping libraries open, for which Ms. Dear presented quite a bit of evidence, or striping roads, for which Mr. Lee presented none?

Here’s the video:

$30,000 saved by library furloughs, $millions for building construction —Idelle Dear
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 8 January 2013.