Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wake up his brain - Send Donald Trump to the Library

Does it surprise anyone that the Trump Administration and Republican Party have submitted a zero budget request for the Institute for Library and Museum Services? Just listening to Trump speak for a few minutes lets you know the man has likely not read a book since he was assigned a book report in high school. I'll bet he can't remember the last time he visited a library.

I visit my local library – the Washington County Library in Woodbury, Minn. - at least once or twice a week, especially during the winter. To begin with, I love books; I recently checked out Joe Schmit's Silent Impact. But my favorite library also offers a lovely environment with its skylight, indoor water falls and live green trees, plus a blazing fireplace. The coffee shop is nice, too.

Best of all, I love children. I live in a seniors apartment building, so it's a pleasure to visit my second home where lots of kids are happily following their parents around who are helping them select age- appropriate books. During my library visit the other day, I paused to speak to a woman who had her four- or five-year old son in tow. I was telling her I loved being around young children when her son suddenly reached out to shake hands with me! Mom's eyes widened in surprise at her offspring's graciousness; just one of many priceless moments I've experienced at my favorite library that I've been visiting for quite a few years.

Later on that day, as I sat at my table near the water falls, sipping my coffee and paging through Joe Schmit's collection of heartwarming stories, I felt deeply grateful for my local library for giving me a refreshing respite from life in a seniors building. And I'll be taking two or three books home with me to read in the evening hours instead of watching the usually boring programs on TV.

Hmm, maybe we should all write to President Trump and suggest that he start visiting his local library and actually read a book? Shouldn't our elected officials exercise their brains now and then, or is that too much to ask? I'll bet they'd be less likely to recommend cutting the funding for these wonderful public resources.

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