In a corner of the Ridgewood library children's section near picture books and fiction nearly two dozen toddlers eagerly await "Toddler Time" to begin. Parents, mostly moms but a few dads and grandparents, try to keep their kids wrangled. Calling them in English, Spanish, Polish, Japanese and Romanian.
They all await a lovely young librarian and her plush monkey George. For thirty minutes the assembled mob sings and dances as they build a love for books and music. But unfortunately these good times may be fleeting as budget cuts threaten to end programs like Toddler Time and Mother Goose time. Additionally library hours will be cut and your next latte may be served by a very nice librarian and her monkey.
Personally, I started taking the kids to the library this past summer to beat the heat and they both loved story time. Now I bring the little guy and it's a great opportunity for him to interact with other kids. Even though much of that interaction is in a mosh pit setting during "monkeys jumping on a bed".
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a house full of books. So many families across the city need the libraries so their kids can have books to read. I think it's the responsibility of everyone who loves books or has kids to contact the Mayor, the city council and your local representatives letting them know you only support politicians who support our libraries.
I ask all my friends and colleagues in the book publishing industry, most of which is located here in the New York area that you make a concerted effort to help stop these cuts too. If libraries are under funded they are going to buy fewer of the books we love. The ones that we know aren't going to be huge sellers but we believe in. Seriously none of us got into the book publishing game to make sure no space is lost in a Target or Walmart planogram. We got into it to make great books and for people to read them.
It's time for all of us who love books; all of us who make our living through books to step up and stand up for books. http://savequeenslibrary.org/