Do you know what the most widely-read page of the newspaper is? It’s the editorial page! For little cost other than your time, you can influence others in your community by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of your library, and you can ask others to do it too. Keep your letter as short as possible (or the paper will cut out some of your content) and remember to be persuasive. This is your chance to influence the opinion of someone you may not even know!
Letters can usually be delivered by e-mail, or you can put it in an envelope and mail it. The address for letters should be clearly printed on that page of your paper. Here’s a sample letter to get you started:
I’m writing to express my concern that hours may be cut at our branch libraries. As a cost-cutting measure, the City is recommending that the library close all branches on Mondays.
I am a staff member at the XYZ Branch, and I work weekday afternoons. Each day, as school closes, dozens of students file into the library to do homework, use the library’s 13 computers, or socialize in a safe place. Many of these children would otherwise go home to empty houses, and the library is the one place that provides a secure, supervised alternative to being home alone.
Our library has put several after-school programs in place to give students who are not doing homework something constructive to do; and other library customers have told us that they are surprised and delighted that the young people are so well-behaved. Teachers have called to say that some of their struggling students’ work has improved since spending afternoons at the library. Parents have told us they are grateful for the library’s welcome to their children. Closing on Mondays will be a major disruption for these children, and I’m certain there are other ways to save money without risking their safety and the productive use of their afternoons.
I urge your readers to contact their City Council representatives and urge them to vote to keep libraries open! Contact information is on the library’s website at www. (provide a web address) .
Your name and address. (Your address will not be published.)