Monday, September 19, 2011

175 years: Then and Now

Exploring Flickr was fun and relatively easy for me.  I think that’s mainly because I’ve used Snapfish and Facebook before to share pictures so I was familiar with the methods.  For my Photostream, I wanted to try to tell a story as much as an inexperienced photographer as myself could.  Since my office is at the Central Library and I have worked in that building for approximately a year and a half now, I’ve witnessed how funding cuts have affected the library.  In the beginning, there was a lot of talk and plans to close the second floor and then slowly I saw and heard of more and more people being laid off.  The closing of the second floor was scheduled to be finalized in the beginning of this year, but was not actually completed until this past month. Books were moved first into the closed stacks, and then eventually all the computers were relocated and the patrons had to find a new place in the library to work.  Some of the pictures show the now deserted second floor that once housed computers, rows of books, and groupings of people, from the job-seekers to teenager gamers.  Other pictures are of the signs telling the public that the section is now off-limits or promoting the library’s annual fundraiser that is planned to be held on the second floor in November. 

Along the stone walkway outside the library, there is a trio of decal images adverstising unique exhibits and information regarding the library.  This is a prime location and ideal place to show the people of Buffalo what’s happening at the library.  They have the “Lafayette Square: Then and Now” collection advertised, along with marketing for the Buffalo News sponsored Bucks for Books campaign ( and notice that the library has been serving Buffalo and Erie County for 175 years. 

I don’t think funding should be cut so severely from the library system and I was very disappointed when library hours were reduced and changes were launched, but I do understand that on some level the library system is shifting and becoming more and more technologically based and modifications need to be made. A defense made for the closing part of the library was because more and more information, book-reading, music, etc. is done electronically, so there is not a need to cover the costs for managing that area.  It saddens me that library hours are being shortened and the space is limited so people who don’t have book and/or computer resources at home will have a harder time gaining access to these.  With unemployment and illiteracy rates high, it seems that the community needs a place that they can obtain knowledge and information for free.  

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