If you are involved in the public sector and participate in the winter/spring budget season then you feel as though you have come through a storm that takes a long time to pass. The fact is that we are all involved because people pay taxes using their hard earned income and leaders make decisions to support public endeavors like PPL. In return, the Library commits itself to a full effort every day to make Portland a better place by opening the doors – for every resident regardless of age - to lifelong learning in so many ways. But even if the Library is successful, leadership from the City needs to possess a basic value system that sees the work of the Library as an essential part of a great City. There have to be leaders who see broadly the landscape of education and can see down the road.
Recently the Mayor of Miami, Carlos Gimenez, stated “the age of the library is probably ending” as a justification for closing 22 branches of the library system. The comment prompted a blog posting by Thea Montanez, President of the Hartford Public Library, that gets to the heart of the matter. We at PPL do not take the financial support of our community for granted. Over the past five years there have been significant challenges to urban library systems such as Portland’s. The leadership of this City, despite the financial stress experienced by all of us, has believed in this Library and its unlimited potential to change lives and to be a major partner in building a great City.
We are thankful for the great and farsighted leadership in this City that holds the values and vision to see the exact opposite of Mayor Gimenez’s world view.