Library essential, needs support
The quality of life in a community is reflected in its public services. Upgrading the Wichita Public Library is not, as an Opinion Line pundit said, “like investing in eight-track tape technology.”
The public library system and the Central Library are essential for thinking, curious, open-minded and questioning citizens. The public library may now be more important than ever, since public school libraries have been stripped of professional media specialists and are unfunded.
And what do you get at a well-supported library that you can’t get elsewhere? Nearly everything.
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Besides books, there are databases that contain primary source material, maps, newspapers, writing and poetry. You can retrieve and research an enormous amount of information.
Why can’t you get this elsewhere? Because it is expensive and does not come with your Internet service provider’s “bundle.” The public library provides such research information and reading materials for the public. The cost per user is very low, the value very high.
Books, strangely considered passe by some, cover any subject you might be interested in, and they are portable and require no electricity.
While the lights are dimming and flickering in the public school libraries, it is time to support our public libraries.
Need to vote
It is not surprising that Gov. Sam Brownback’s approval rating is below President Obama’s (“Governor’s job approval flat at 34 percent,” April 29 WE Blog excerpts). It seems that no one is happy with politics anywhere in America.
We young Kansans have watched the infighting between the hard right and the moderates. Would Republicans bow down if the executive orders were coming from a moderate? I do not think they would.
This makes me sad, because I meet so many young people who think differently from our governor. Yet they do not vote. I believe many of them understand how government works, but they just do not vote. This has to change.
I urge the Kansas young people to vote in November. Progress always comes from the youth – from civil rights to equality, regardless of your religion or race.
Regarding May 17 WichiTalk: What was up with the article “Why it’s worth getting to know your neighbors”? Hasn’t The Eagle heard of the massive neighborhood associations movement in Wichita? Once there’s an association and a newsletter, everyone knows everything that’s going on and learns the neighbors’ names, their pets’ names, their kids’ names and everything else.
Some may still not make the effort, but in the Uptown neighborhood we encourage everyone to get to know one another, and we have activities that bring neighbors together so they will.
Wichita isn’t a big, scary city but just a big “small town,” so it’s hard to realize we have a population of 400,000 in the metro area. I’m constantly finding people I know when I go shopping, call a business or take a walk.
Please don’t believe that people here aren’t stepping out to meet one another. It’s not true.
Regarding “Music inspires” (May 11 Letters to the Editor): Music surely does “lighten lives.” For me, music is the actual language of God.
There is harmony in creation – the balance and interaction and beauty of nature, as every facet sustains itself while supporting other creatures and systems. There is harmony in existence and life.
Then there is the rhythm in the times and seasons that support change and newness; provide light and dark; and give birth, growth and death. All sequential time is in rhythm from seconds to years to centuries to aeons.
There is a lovely melody played out by all created things: The song of the bird, the moan of the whale, the chirp of the cricket are all part of the song of God’s melodic creation.
And finally, a lyric of love permeates the ongoing sustaining, renewing and enriching of created life.
Of course, humankind sadly often makes the harmony cacophonous and discordant, the rhythm staggering and disruptive, the melodies painful cries, and the lyrics shouts of hate. But beneath it all with consistency, patience and love is God’s song of harmony, rhythm, melody and lyrics.
That’s why music can calm the savage breast, heal the wounded heart and enliven the sorrowful soul.
Help foster kids
Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youths in the foster care system. Throughout this month, we hope to raise awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourage citizens to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or financial supporters.
Right now in Sedgwick County, we serve more than 800 youths. All of these children deserve a happy and healthy childhood.
I would like to show appreciation to all of those currently involved – from volunteers who come each week to mentor, to foster parents who give wholeheartedly each and every hour of the day to make a difference.
It takes only one person to make a very significant difference in the life of a child. Think back to your own childhood. Who was that one person who made a difference? Now think of today. Perhaps you can be that one person for a very deserving child.
If you are interested in learning more about fostering a child, mentoring a child or volunteering in other ways, please contact Youthville at 800-593-1950 or go to our website at youthville.org.
CEO and president