Don’t be fooled: Our library is still in danger.

| August 26, 2013

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Para leer en Español

By: Laura Tobi.

Paula Gomez  and Noryam Guillen

Paula Gomez and Noryam Guillen

“I like the books there. The place is calm, I like the environment, “says Paula Gomez (11 years old) referring to the public library on 58th Street, Doral. Paula loves the library to the point that upon learning of its possible closure she took matters into her own hands to try to avoid it.

Along with her cousin, Noryam Guillen (9 years old), 573 signatures were collected to convince Mr. Boria, the mayor of Doral, to take action.

Paula’s father, Mauricio Gomez, then contacted the mayor’s office and sent him the scanned signatures, which contributed significantly to persuade the powers that be to remove our library from the list of closures.

We admire Paula’s civic responsibility, we are proud to count her as one of us. Although her parents originally started collecting the signatures, it was her idea to stand at the entrance of Publix (prior authorization from the manager) to ask for signatures, explaining the situation to every person that went by.

Paula reads at least two books a week either for pleasure or to meet school requirements.

As I was told by Walter Zapata, father of three who has lived in Doral for 17 years “Libraries are a very important economic tool, since we borrow 7 to 10 books weekly for our children to read, get educated, take the habit of reading and do not need to purchase them “. A quick calculation results in an annual sum of about $3640 if we conservatively assume an average of $10 per book.

Many newcomers to our city, and to this country, are unaware of the treasure that the public library is. (See article on the issue http://www.doralfamilyjournal.com/doral-our-library-is-in-danger-of-closing/ and www.mdpls.org  7/28/13)…  It is not only about books, but about a cultural space where members of our community interested in creativity, culture and even sports like chess, find a space to develop and enrich their minds.

Leticia Castro, who lives in Doral since 1999 and has two daughters told me: ” The best way to have a good useful time was going to the library. When we got to this country that was quite an experience, an outing, taking free craft classes, watching a bit of theater and choosing books of all kinds, was an adventure. My daughters waited for the day we went to the library with great enthusiasm. Even now, after 14 years, it is still an adventure. To return home with a mountain of books is an activity that we still enjoy. “

Unfortunately many of our leaders do not appreciate how important it is to keep the library system full operation. Although they now say they will keep most of the libraries open, many brutal cuts on the service hours, the services themselves and all staff cuts, the librarians who are the lifeblood of what happens in the institution.

Again Paula is surprised when I tell her this. She believes that the signatures collected have resulted in keeping safe this magical place full of adventures. She is surprised with the idea of losing librarians who know her by her first name. With her eyes wide open, she tells me how it is them who give her advice and information about things that interest her, they let her know about tutoring programs, of magic or learning how to write stories, all being free programs at the public library.

Don’t be fooled: Our Public Library is still at risk.

I can only agree with Paula, and pray that our library not only remains open, but to keep doing it at all times, offering all its wonderful services, and above all, with all its amazing librarians. This depends not only on Paula, but on each and every one of us. Without your action, our public library will be mutilated on October 1st.

Paula Gomez will receive a scholarship to attend The Art Shack equivalent to one dollar for every signature she gathered, in recognition for her effort.

Actions to keep the library operating fully:

Write to the following politicians asking them to support fully funding the public library system:

  • Luigi Boria, Mayor of the City of Doral: luigi.boria@cityofdoral.com.
  • Carlos Gimenez, Mayor of Miami Dade County: mayor@miamidade.gov
  • Jose “Pepe” Diaz, commissioner for District 12 which includes Doral: District12@miamidade.gov

Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/miami-dade-county-commission-fully-fund-the-miami-dade-county-library-system

Participate in the next budget town hall meeting with Mayor Gimenez Wednesday, August 28, 2013 West Dade Regional Library, 9445 Coral Way, Miami, Florida 33165, 6 -8 pm

Share this with all your friends and family.

——— En Español ——–

No se deje engañar: Nuestra biblioteca aún sigue en peligro.

 

Por Laura Tobi.

“Me gustan los libros de allí. El lugar es calmado, me gusta el ambiente” dice Paula Gómez de11 años, haciendo referencia a la biblioteca pública de Doral en la calle 58.

Paula ama la biblioteca al punto que al enterarse de su posible cierre se puso en campaña para tratar de evitarlo y junto a su prima Noryam Guillen de 9 años, recolectó 573 firmas de los residentes de Doral para convencer al alcalde Boria para que tomará cartas en el asunto.

El padre de Paula, Mauricio Gómez, contacto luego al alcalde y le envió las firmas escaneadas, lo que contribuyo de manera significativa a la gestión para que nuestra biblioteca fuera retirada de la lista de cierres.

Paula Gomez con sus padres.

Paula Gomez con sus padres.

La responsabilidad cívica de Paula nos admira, nos da orgullo tenerla entre nosotros. Si bien sus padres comenzaron con el listado de firmas, fue ella la de la idea de pararse frente al Publix (previa autorización del manager) a pedir las firmas, explicando la situación a cada persona que se acercaba. Ella lee por lo menos dos libros por semana tanto por placer como para cumplir con los requisitos de la escuela.

Como me dijera Walter Zapata, padre de tres niños que vive en Doral desde hace 17 años “Las bibliotecas son una herramienta de economía muy importante, ya que semanalmente nos presta los 7 o 10 libros que necesitamos para que nuestro hijos lean, se eduquen, tomen el habito de la lectura y no invertimos en la compra”. Una cuenta rápida nos da un monto anual de unos $3640 si conservadoramente consideramos $10 de costo por libro.

Muchos recién llegados a nuestra ciudad, y a este país, desconocen el tesoro que es la Biblioteca Pública. (ver articulo http://www.doralfamilyjournal.com/doral-our-library-is-in-danger-of-closing/ en la edición del 7/28/13 y www.mdpls.org)… No se trata solo de libros, sino de un espacio cultural completo donde miembros de nuestra comunidad interesados en la creatividad, la cultura e inclusive deportes como el ajedrez, encuentran un espacio para desarrollar y enriquecer su mente.

Leticia Castro, que vive en Doral desde 1999 y tiene dos hijas me comenta: “La mejor manera de pasar un buen rato útilmente era ir a la biblioteca, cuando llegamos a este país eso era toda una experiencia, un paseo, tomar clases gratis de manualidades, ver un poco de teatro y poder escoger libros de todo tipo, era toda una aventura, mis hijas esperaban el día para ir a la biblioteca con mucha ilusión. Aún ahora después de 14 años sigue siendo toda una aventura, volver a casa con una montaña de libros es una actividad que aun disfrutamos”.

Lamentablemente muchos de nuestros gobernantes no aprecian lo importante que es mantener el sistema de bibliotecas en pleno funcionamiento, y aunque por ahora dicen que mantendrán la mayoría de las bibliotecas abiertas, se avecinan brutales cortes en los horarios de servicios, los servicios en sí y sobre todo recortes en el personal, los bibliotecarios que son el alma de lo que allí ocurre.

Nuevamente Paula se sorprende cuando le comento esto, ella cree que sus firmas han logrado evitar que este lugar mágico y lleno de aventuras se vea afectado. Especialmente se sorprende con la idea de perder a los bibliotecarios que la conocen por su nombre de pila. Con los ojos abiertos de par en par me cuenta que ellos la asesoran, le dan información sobre cosas que le interesan, la informan sobre programas de tutorías, de magia o aprender a escribir cuentos, todos programas gratuitos en la biblioteca pública.

 Yo no puedo más que coincidir con ella, y rogar que nuestra biblioteca no solo permanezca abierta, sino que lo siga haciendo en todos sus horarios, prestando todos sus maravillosos servicios, y sobre todo, con todos sus maravillosos bibliotecarios.

Esto no depende solo de Paula, sino de todos nosotros. Si no actuamos, la biblioteca publica se vera mutilada irremediablemente el 1ro de Octubre.

Paula Gómez recibirá una beca para asistir a The Art Shack equivalente a un dólar por cada una de las firmas que recolectó, como reconocimiento a su esfuerzo.

Acciones para que la biblioteca funcione plenamente:

Usted puede escribir a los siguientes políticos pidiéndoles que respalden el financiamiento total del sistema de bibliotecas:

También puede firmar la petición: http://www.change.org/petitions/miami-dade-county-commission-fully-fund-the-miami-dade-county-library-system

Participar en la próxima reunión publica de presupuesto con el Alcalde Giménez Miércoles, Agosto 28, 2013 West Dade Regional Library, 9445 Coral Way, Miami, Florida 33165 , 6 -8 p.m.

Comparta esto con todos sus amigos y familiares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. LN Libro says:

    The Miami-Dade Public Library System, with 49 branches was a healthy, progressive leader amongst libraries in the country in 2008. There were 800 employees and a renovation and building reserve of $75 million. It won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Seventeen new libraries opened in a decade.

    Then Mayor Carlos Gimenez stepped into office in 2011.
    Two years ago he tried to close 13 branches. See this 29 second video clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8VkCIBq43k

    This year his proposals were to close 22, then when the fight to save them began 16, then 4 then zero! Banner headlines “Libraries Saved!” Multiple media outlets were fooled by stressing that the buildings were not being closed. The headline and the implications of having 169 trained library staff (out of 440) are on the chopping block is not as explained.

    In 2008 there were approximately 800 staff with Sunday hours, double shifts in larger branches, a free Science, Math, and Reading tutoring program. Now there are 440 staff manning 49 locations and two bookmobiles.

    Starting on October 1, 2013, there will be just 221 senior and demoted staff to keep the 49 locations open. Bookmobiles are decommissioned. Sixteen inner city branches are reduced to 16 hours from 40. These will be run by an entry level Librarian 1 and two part-time shelvers.

    Limited to no programming, or outreach, or anything other then the bare basics of getting books to and from and answering reference questions. The Mayor’s plan is to reduce libraries down to being ineffective, inefficient and useless.

    Use the Miami-Dade Public tragedy as your warning call. Learn about the dramatic downturn that any public library can experience.

    For more information about how average people are trying to stop the plundering of what has been built over four decades:

    https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheMiamiDadePublicLibraries

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