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Monday, August 18, 2008

We interrupt this sunny, summer day to remind you...

that it is an election year.

I know, I know -- given the non-stop media coverage of the campaigning, primaries, and related issues, you are probably grateful to have a compelling distraction like the Olympics. However, it IS an election year - a presidential election year! Are you prepared to cast your vote and exercise your democratic rights? It can be easy to take an apathetic perspective -- "My vote doesn't mean anything." We can become shockingly blasé about the significance of our vote and our responsibility to educate ourselves as voters.

I saw this quote last week:

“In our democratic society, the library stands for hope, for learning, for progress, for literacy, for self-improvement and for civic engagement. The library is a symbol of opportunity, citizenship, equality, freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and hence, is a symbol for democracy itself,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Lofty-sounding words? Perhaps. Not everyone who walks through our doors is seeking civic engagement. But think about it a moment longer. Hope? How about a new immigrant family getting library cards for the first time? Civic engagement? How about the many community groups that use our free meeting rooms? How about the opportunities we provide to meet with government representatives every month? Freedom of speech and thought? Read the variety of books in our collection, then use our computers to write your own blog or email a newspaper editor or senator. Literacy? The "Learn to Read" group meets here to teach English several nights a week. Self-improvement? Take a free class in computing, gardening, cooking, attend a lecture on finance or health.

We can help you with all of those things, so let us help you VOTE, too. How? From September 26, 2008 through October 7, 2008, you can register to vote at the Library. Watch our Web site for more details. In the meantime, we can also help you make your decision, with books and recommended sites on the two presidential candidates. Use the links below to search for books/DVDs in our Library or to view our online Election '08 guide, where we've gathered sites on both sides of the fence, as well as those riding the fence and, most importantly, the best objective, non-partisan sites.

Election '08 Guide

Books/DVDs on John McCain in our Library

Books/DVDs on Barack Obama in our Library

Living in a true democracy is a privilege and a responsibility -- let the Library help you be an active, educated participant.

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