Would you fund schools or libraries?

Would you fund schools or libraries?

I didn’t get a chance to do a poll post yesterday, as I usually do on Wednesdays (things have been a bit complicated lately).

So, I decided to do one today! 🙂

I love public libraries!

In my life, I’ve seen the availability of them remarkably reduced.

It could be branches closing, or hours being reduced.

I spontaneously said at one point that, given a choice between cutting back library availability or cutting back schools, I’d preserve the libraries.

I still think that, given certain conditions.

One is that they have literacy teachers at the library. There should also be a meeting room of some kind.

Now, I do want to be clear: I think schoolteachers do an incredible job. I have academics in my family and I’m a trainer in my “day job”.

However, I think the ability to freely explore the world’s knowledge, going where you want to go, letting your passions and curiosity drive you…nothing makes more of a learner out of someone than that. My guess is that it also improves empathy, but that’s just a guess.

Hypothetically, then, let’s say you have a choice.

You can shut down some libraries to keep schools going five days a week, or you can close school a couple of days a week to keep libraries open 7 days a week.

That’s not an even switch, but I’m sure it’s a lot more expensive to keep a school open than it is to keep a library open

Of course, there would be issues. Some parents rely on a school being a place children can be so the adults can go to work. Could you leave a kid in a library for six hours? You could definitely have left me there!

Would people grow up not understanding context…or would they learn context of some books from other books, and would people naturally step in to give context?

Well, let’s ask:


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4 Responses to “Would you fund schools or libraries?”

  1. EJC Says:

    I have friends with kids in year round schools.

    Kids are divided into four tracks. At any time only three tracks are in the school. The fourth is at the Y for the same time that the others are in school. One week spring and fall breaks. Three weeks in the summer and winter. One third more kids in the same school = less need to build more schools

    The time at the Y includes both free time and structure. Sports and health are taught, but also socialization and leadership. This could be done adding a library track. (5 tracks not less coursework.) The library week could allow creativity and expanding the mind, but also instruction in reading, research, and possibly other subjects as needed for the age group.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, EJC!

      That sounds like a great idea! I would have lived for those weeks! 🙂

      I have a relative with two kids…one of the biggest problems was that the kids were on two different tracks at one point (being far enough apart in age). It meant that they couldn’t take a lengthy family vacation, because they were never both off during the same two weeks.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    This is the love of learning person’s equivalent of Sophie’s choice! I would have to vote to fund the schools because not all children have parents who are capable of teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic. But I had to think of a community without public libraries. In the community where I live, the library and schools are funded by tax levies and bond issues which are approved or rejected by voters. The “newest” school building in my area is 50 years old, but voters have consistently voted down bond issues to raise the money for new school buildings but approved funds to build a new library by a large majority.

    Because I have no siblings or children, I am leaving the majority of my estate to my local library. My only stipulation is that the money be used materials for the children’s area of the library.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Oh, I understand this is a very difficult choice…I appreciate your analogy. My guess is that the community would step up in some way for kids in the situation you describe, and that that might happen at the library. I suppose that turns the library into a school, but it wouldn’t be a government funded or mandated school.

      That’s a great way to use your estate! Mine would go to my Significant Other, followed by our now adult kid…but I’m donating quite a few things now.

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