I'm from California, and I enjoy paying attention to the stupid decisions my home state makes.
Like the latest, in which California rejected increasing the tax rate for the richest Californians, and stops all funding for libraries. To put that in perspective, in 2000, the state gave $56.8 million to libraries. Now, they are getting none. Libraries will lose the inter-library loan system, literacy programs, books and workers. Rural, poorer areas will be hurt worse.
First, let all of us who were young voracious readers sit and think about how great the library was as a child. There was a sea of books, and we could swim and take home any one we wanted. I remember excitement. I remember carrying a stack of books taller than me to the check-out line. My love of the library spurned a love of reading that benefitted my life immensely. On a base level, I hate this: they are taking the books away from MY library.
But it's more than that. I feel like in order to really understand the bill's true impact, we need to step out of ourselves. Because I am young. I read quickly and easily. I am good with technology. I can use the Internet anytime I need to. You are too, probably. The people whom this impacts the most are none of those things. The cuts affected high poverty areas the most. These are the areas with inadequate supply of computers, training on computers and ability to access a computer.
I think we forget how bureaucratic our lives are — how the forms and checks and boxes and clicks run our lives. For the poor, their survival is contingent upon these forms. Many are dependent on the government, and thus dependent on the forms that give them access to government money. Increasingly, these forms are online in order to save cost and paper.