Proposals have recently been made to further reduce services in the Fairfax County Public Library System through budget cuts. We wonder how this can be justified, when cuts of 27 percent have been made over the past five years, and the system is very heavily utilized. Without bias and free of charge, our libraries support the needs of the disadvantaged, the college bound, entrepreneurial business persons, research professionals, children, the avid reader and all others who wish to be educated or informed.
Some may say libraries are being replaced by computers, but we know this to be a myth. The internet can’t compete with libraries’ breadth and depth of historical and scientific information, nor with the superiority of their data, which has met the best standards of reliability over time. Adding in the presence of professional staff as helpers makes libraries the only place to be. When you turn on your computer at home, you work alone.
We now live in tight money times. Budget cuts must be made somewhere in Fairfax County. But draining our libraries of 27 to 50 percent of their capabilities comes down too hard on the public that depends on them as an essential resource. I don’t believe we are anywhere near the need to consider such dire steps. A better idea might be to restore the cuts already made to our now underfunded library system.
Richard Liebler, Fairfax