Seems I've been hearing rumors from a few of the Founding Fathers that as of October 2, the entire Philadelphia library system is going to be shut down. And to that I ask you people one question:
I mean, seriously. I leave you people alone for 219 years, and after all I've done for you brats - electricity, that kite thing, the post office, etc. - this is how you repay me? By threating to close the libraries?
Oh, no need to take my word for it. I only founded your damn library for you, back in the day of 1731. If it wasn't for me, you selfish pricks wouldn't even know what a library is. But, here it is, read it and weep, right here on the Free Library of Philadelphia's website:
We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighborhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.
Specifically, the following will take effect after the close of business, October 2, 2009:
- All branch and regional library programs, including programs for children and teens, after school programs, computer classes, and programs for adults, will be cancelled
- All Parkway Central Library programs, including children programs, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, computer classes and after school programs, will be cancelled. We are exploring the possibility of relocating the Philadelphia Author Series programs to other non-library facilities.
- All library visits to schools, day care centers, senior centers and other community centers will cease.
- All community meetings at our branch and regional libraries, and the Parkway Central Library, will be cancelled.
- All GED, ABE and ESL programs held at Free Library branches will be discontinued, students should contact their teacher to see if other arrangements are being made.
Yeah, you could say I'm pissed. You, Pennsylvania, are the only state in the country - the country! - without a frickin' budget. Which, I might remind you, should have been done back in July, latest. I mean, are you kiddin' me? What am I, a clown? The mess you've left is nothing short of a disaster. You've got nonprofits without funding, cutting critical services, people losing their jobs left and right, the longest recession in God knows how long. You're talking about Doomsday Budgets and cutting 3,000 police officers and firemen in the City of Brotherly Love.
You really don't know how good you have it. Back in my day (I'm talking the 1730s, pal) books were rare and expensive. There were no libraries. Only the very wealthy and the clergy had access to large numbers of books. Even men of moderate means could not readily afford books. So, I rounded up a few folks and for 40 shillings or something, we started a library. Simple.
Youse could take a lesson from that. What I think you people need to do is lock yourselves up in some room, kind of like what happened that hot as hell summer when we were writing your goddamn Declaration of Independence in Independence Hall, nary an air conditioner in sight. You wanna see some finger-pointing and bickering? I'll show you some finger-pointing and bickering.
But the point is, we got the job done, didn't we? Not like you schmucks, going on your third month without a state budget. You ... you're an embarrassment. Rome was built sooner than this shit.
Yeah, I know that the closure of your libraries would be a temporary sort of thing, until you get your rears in gear with your budget. And I've heard some people say that you're cryin' wolf, that you're using the libraries as pawns in a political game. That it's your mayor's fault, your governor's fault, or that kid Barack Obama's fault. Well, you know what I think? I don't give a rusty rat's behind whose fault this is. Just fix it already! Get the job done.
All I know is that people depend on Philadelphia's libraries. Look at all those people who would be affected by this. Come October 2, they'll have diddly-squat, thanks to you. In the immortal words of the great John Lennon, I ask you this: how do you sleep? How do you sleep at night?
Before your libraries close their doors, there's one book that you might want to check out while you still have the opportunity. It was pretty popular back in my day. Called Common Sense, by Thomas Paine. Take it from me: youse need a little bit of it.
Now, I've said my piece. It's up to you to figure this shit out. If you need me, you know where to find me.
Right here. Spinnin' in my grave.