I have always loved the library — a safe, free place to access an abundance of books, movies, and music of all genres. But once I had my children, the library quickly became more than just a place to check out items with my blue card. It became a regular hangout for our family. From when my boys were babies, the library provided a place for them to play no matter the weather outside. I always welcomed a change of scenery and a safe place for them to roam. My boys enjoyed the Cradle to Crayons program (for ages 1-3), with its toys, projects, and singing, and I loved seeing other adults and the validation and support we gave each other as we all were stumbling through the challenges of parenthood.
Since my boys were born, I can’t count the number of books, movies, CDs, and special children’s programs my boys and I have enjoyed at the library. And if it had a coffee bar, I would have even less reasons to leave.
The librarians and children’s specialists are an integral part of this community. They are the storytellers and the friendly faces our children have come to know and trust. Our neighborhood library is the Rochambeau Branch, where the librarians know us by name, but when we visit the Fox Point and the downtown branches, the librarians there make my kids feel special as well. Many times they have gone out their way to find a book my son was searching for or helped track down something pertaining to their obsession of the day — from cows to nutcrackers to pirates, and everything in between.
Some of you may already know that the Providence Public Library (PPL) is currently planning to lay off seven branch children’s specialists in March. The impact of these projected layoffs means services at the small branches will be drastically reduced, existing staff will be left to deal with the basic tasks of managing books, and as a result, the children’s programming will suffer. The impact on our kids means no more Homework Help programs, no more Story Time, no Summer Reading program. Even if you do not use all of these services, think of the impact on kids in our community who do.
If you are a Providence resident and want to help save the jobs of the children’s specialists, write a letter to the mayor and your city council representative. One of the librarians has kindly provided a letter here for you to download and modify as you see fit.
– Send the letter addressed to the mayor to: (Letter)
Mayor David N. Cicilline
Providence City Hall
25 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 421-7740
– Download a fact sheet.