Off the streets and into libraries


Today's Daily Telegraph covers a shouting match between a Labor Leader and a woman over whether books and libraries do a better job of keeping kids off the street than do pool halls and drop in centers.


I vote for the baseball diamond and video games. It worked well keeping me out of trouble during my youth. But I agree that a library is a much better choice than playing pool.I like the angry mother's logic, "But Ms Menzies rejected his policy, saying: "These kids don't have a future. A book is not going to do it.""But a pool hall is? Sounds like at home they don't get much encouragement to study.

They can go to the library and surf the internet for hours! (That's what the kids do at our library)

All kidding aside, what is Ms. Menzies thinking? Education doesn't give you a future? Perhaps if she'd said, "These kids won't go to the library, they'll just be on the streets..." Maybe I could buy that logic. But "A book is not going to do it?" She worked in HR. Could she have done that without picking up a book or two?

Lots of kids I wouldn't "expect" to see at a library come to our library daily. Sometimes they grab a book, pretend to read, and talk to each other. We don't mind that much, as long as they are quiet and orderly (relatively speaking). Sometimes, though, they actually do read. If they find a subject they're excited about, sometimes they actually check out books. Learning can be accidental.

I'm sure Mr. Latham is counting on that.

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