Some may argue that libraries are no longer relevant, with all sorts of technology at our fingertips, but for many what’s inside of those buildings still served an important purpose.
“When I was a little kid we didn’t have a ton of money,” said Becca Duvall. “I went to the library in the summertime and that provided me this space to learn and grow.”
Public libraries provide access to computers, the internet, textbooks and research support.
Now eight of them are in danger of closure or consolidation. In Cobb County there is a $30 million shortfall, and closing libraries would save millions.
“The library might be the only outside of school internet or computer that they have. So it’s really more than just books, it’s resources especially for those in underprivileged areas and communities,” said Duvall.
Duvall and Rachel Slomovitz are behind a social media blitz to keep all of the libraries open.
The ‘Save Cobb Libraries’ ground swell just launched a site and Facebook page showing residents how to take action and get involved.
The group also have more than 1,500 signatures on a Change.org petition, which will be turned over to commissioners.
“The chairman has said that the libraries are one of the hottest of the top button topics,” said Ross Cavitt.
Cavitt is the communications director for Cobb County. He said no decision on the closures has been made.
“It will all depend in July on what the commission decides the mileage rate to be and how that will support keeping everything open.”
The proposal suggests consolidating the Kennesaw and Acworth libraries and closing the East Cobb, Kemp Memorial, Lewis A. Ray, Sweetwater Vallet, Sibley and Windy Hill Libraries.
The Windy Hill Branch which is used primarily by those with special needs.
“I think in Cobb County it’s easy for the more affluent of us to forget that there are these resources that people depend on,” Duvall said.
The commission will vote on a budget on July 24.
Before then, there will be a total of 10 town halls and public hearings where residents can address commissioners.
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