Many of our public libraries, at least the buildings, have been closed for the last few months which has made us mindful of just how much we love them. Who doesn’t love free books?!
Ashley shares about some of the offerings and essential services that we might not think about that were highlighted in an article on Bustle called 7 Reasons Libraries are Essential, Now More than Ever:
- Day shelter, bathrooms, and internet access for unhoused people
- Free meeting and work space
- Preservers of history
- Multi-lingual resources and language classes
- Children’s programming
So, when we think about our tax dollars, why wouldn’t we want to give more to our public libraries? When we talk about defunding the police, we’re mindful of the fact that our budget is a moral document. What investments and divestments do we need to transform our communities into the places we want to live?
If you’re new to the concept of police abolition and the movement to defund the police, you might want to check out this episode on Call Your Girlfriend on Police Abolition. Ann Friedman interviews Mariame Kaba who is an organizer, educator, and abolitionist.
She ends her interview with this: “What abolitionists talk about is the importance of thinking of abolition as a restructured world where everything has shifted, where people have what they need. Where people are living lives where we figured out how to do conflict resolution amongst ourselves without calling the cops. Where we have enough to eat and shelter. Where people have good schools. Where people have medical care when they need it at whatever time and at no cost. So it’s a vision of a restructured world and within that restructured world when those conditions have shifted we will no longer need these punishing institutions because we will have figured out how to interact and relate to each other and be in the right relationship in ways that we can’t imagine right now in the world we exist in.”