Least Literate City (El Paso TX) to Lose Library

Because of a $20 million shortfall, El Paso County Commissioners are planning to close the Fabens Library, the county's only library and the only library within 25 miles of downtown El Paso.

Protesters, from age 3 and up, gathered yesterday in the middle school cafeteria, carrying signs and rallying around speakers which included ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano. Photo and story from Borderland News .

The library is a nonmandated county function, and the county would save $250,000 if it closed, officials said.

"I'm not going to guarantee to vote to raise taxes as long as there are things on the table that we can cut," said County Commissioner Dan Haggerty said.

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Closing Down a Library in Texas

It is interesting to see public libraries close in Texas, and to hear the silence from the first Lady, a former librarian and Texan. While Laura Bush is willing to speak out about loudly about what she doesn't know, she is also unwilling to speak out at all about the loss of public libraries and educational facilities if it means criticizing fellow Republicans. Certainly the closing of libraries in her home state is a matter of concern, yet the first Lady's silence in support of public and school libraries and her support of her profession is deafening.

Sigh. Words of support for education, "No child left behind," and other political blarney pale into insignificance against the real actions of shutting down public libraries that support the children left behind and educational outreach. We look for leadership from above, and there is only a vacuum where local good is sacrificed for cold and calculating political gain.

Ignorance is bliss. Don't mess with Texas!

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