The Chant

Libraries at risk due to budget cuts

Cobb+County%E2%80%99s+plan+to+bring+together+Acworth+and+Kennesaw+libraries+progresses+into+a+physical+plan+for+the+consolidated+library.+
Cobb County’s plan to bring together Acworth and Kennesaw libraries progresses into a physical plan for the consolidated library.

Cobb County’s plan to bring together Acworth and Kennesaw libraries progresses into a physical plan for the consolidated library.

Madeleine Powers

Madeleine Powers

Cobb County’s plan to bring together Acworth and Kennesaw libraries progresses into a physical plan for the consolidated library.

Madeleine Powers, General Assistant, Photographer

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With technology as the worldwide portal of information and creativity, it seems that people have lost their need for traditional libraries. Once present around every corner and full of life and knowledge, these institutions have slowly disappeared or run out of business.

This serves as a tragedy for all who need a computer, a book, or an article from a magazine, and Cobb County currently faces a $30 million shortfall, which will likely result in budget cuts. A proposal to close Kemp Library, Sweetwater Library, Windy Hill Library, Lewis A. Ray Library, East Cobb Library, Sibley Library, and consolidate the Acworth and Kennesaw Libraries is currently in motion.

This rash decision will impact the county greatly, whether or not it comes across as a good or bad idea. The consolidation of the Acworth and Kennesaw libraries, located across the street from NC, will supposedly bring a large collection of books and a huge study center for students. This great edition to the community will only impact the northern part of Cobb, meaning a person in need of a library in a different part of Cobb would not have easy access to the facility. Although today’s society exists in a whole new age of technology, people that cannot access a computer or a book at home need libraries to serve as a source of information.

“Libraries are open to everybody, they have so many services that they can provide above and beyond what we [as a school library] can do, since we are just geared towards students and staff. They can serve everybody, so I think they are more important than we are,” media specialist Lisa Wheeler said.

Technology continues to engulf society in its never ending plague of information, stories, videos, and movies. Sometimes, however, an old-school approach gives the individual a better mindset when reading a book or a newspaper. A book offers an experience: an individual can hold, touch, and smell a book— something that they cannot experience through a screen. A book’s cover, its binding, the texture of the words, the pages, the deckled edges, the weight of the paper, and the feeling of turning a page makes up a book; all these elements show the reader the book’s value. The library offers thousands of physical books at no cost, and taking these precious buildings away from communities could push reading that much farther away from society.

“(The library) provides access to books that you may not have the ability to get anywhere else without having to go to a bookstore. It’s just a good place for people to meet and hang out, and a safe haven in the school, especially because ours is not only geographically the center of the school, but I also feel like libraries are a hub, if you will,” Wheeler said.

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Libraries at risk due to budget cuts