The event will begin with a press conference at 10am and be followed by readings of stories by patrons of the Chicago Public Libraries describing how Libraries are essential to learning, socializing, job searching and to their lives and communities. This will be followed by an open-mic speak out where others attending can tell their similar stories.
The Chicago People’s Library Movement stands against Chicago Public Library budget cuts causing the elimination of staff and services that have been enacted by both the Daley and Emanuel administrations. Hundreds of letters have been written since Mayor 1%’s latest January, 2012 cuts. Some of these will be read on Thursday.
Occupy Chicago also supports library workers whose union, AFSCME, will demand that all 100+ laid-off library pages be rehired immediately and Monday hours be restored to 8 hours. The Chicago People's Library Movement will also demand that, not only cuts be restored, but that library staff, hours and services be expanded to a level that properly and adequately serves the public, filling its legitimate and increasing needs for knowledge, information and access to the Internet in age of a growing Digital Divide based on [we consider it absolutely essential that the "Digital Divide" be addressed as well as the indispensable role of libraries in bridging that divide] class & race.
The Chicago People's Library Movement believes that a fully staffed, fully stocked, and fully accessible public library system, is not an unnecessary extravagance, but is essential for the people of our society. It is a basic right to have access to information and education. It is simply a matter of prioritizing the needs of the 99% over the excessive profits of the 1%. Libraries, like all other public services, must be operated, staffed and maintained by unionized public employees to keep true ownership of the system by the public and accountability of it to the public as well as to keep our government out of the business of pauperizing the working class.
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