You must be sick of election talk. It started so long ago and we are just getting into the first round of voting. Don’t worry – this is different.
Later this month we will be performing at the Vestal NY Public Library. That doesn’t seem so unusual. We play at a lot of libraries. We love sharing our book inspired songs with people who are not necessarily fans of new acoustic music. The interaction with that audience is unique. There is more discussion of books and the creative path than at a more traditional venue. There are more questions and we always leave with a list of reading recommendations.
The show at the Vestal Library will be like that; family friendly, entertaining and a bit educational. But it will be different. You see, the library has lost some of its funding. Apparently, there are people in the world that value a library less than we do. The have forgotten what an amazing resource a library can be – not only housing books, but also newspapers and magazines, music and movies. A library is a gateway to art work, history or geography in print and also a resource for understanding your taxes or searching for a new job. It is a place with computers and internet access, a place for meetings or study. It is home for lectures, workshops and… concerts.
Of course, the library has a plan. They are resourceful. An alternate funding plan has been proposed and a vote will happen in early April. We hope to remind people of what is at stake, encourage them to learn about the proposed plan, and vote.
At each of our library shows I ask the audience if they have a library card. I actually ask them to raise their hands. I remind them that having an active library card is like voting. It shows you value the library. It lets people who allocated funds at the federal, state, and local levels know that you care about the building, the resources, the staff, and the programs. You won’t get a sticker, but a library card is a vote that ensures we all win.