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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oakland's closure of libraries called terrible (USA)

"Oakland's readers began suffering literary withdrawal symptoms Monday as the city's library faced an extended closure due to budget cuts. Library patrons scowled, sighed and stomped at the entrance to the main library, where a sign solemnly informed them the library and its 15 branches will be closed through Saturday. "This makes you wonder, what is a city for?" asked artist David Tallitsch as he greeted the locked library downtown. "The library is a major part of what we do as a community. It's a repository of knowledge. Now it's a room that's closed." Oakland's library - the largest municipal library system in the East Bay, with 2.3 million volumes - closed Christmas Eve and, like most other city offices, will not reopen until 2010. It's the longest library closure in recent memory, leaving the library's 335,000 card-holders without free access to books, DVDs, Internet access or, in many cases, a warm place to spend an afternoon. For the library's 415 employees, the closure means a pay cut as well as the sad sight of unopened books and dark computer screens" - SFGate

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