The world is an ugly place right now.
About 50 immigrants unexpectedly arrived by plane on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, a horrific political stunt for which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has since taken credit. A wildfire in California just became the state’s largest this year. Inflation is still soaring.
But there are good things happening too. Just look at America’s public libraries:
- Ohio’s Loudonville Public Library created a baby play area with a workstation for caregivers. AsBloomberg reports in an article about libraries doing similar things nationwide, “In the United States—the only rich country without paid parental leave—babies, toddlers, and their caretakers are routinely neglected by both policy and city planning.”
- Since April, the Brooklyn Public Library has issued more than 5,100 free electronic library cards to young people nationwide in an effort to stand against the growing number of book bans in public schools and libraries. (A library in Michigan just launched Banned Book Bingo nights.)
- San Diego’s Central Library just hired a social worker to help people who are experiencing homelessness and grappling with mental health or substance abuse issues.
- Connecticut’s Hartford Public Library launched a program to help young immigrant women who came to the U.S. in high school remain in school and complete their college degrees.
- Public libraries in Baltimore County, Maryland, are offering several new in-person and online tools to help students and their families navigate the school year.
These libraries highlight a fundamental principle that undergirds In the Public Interest’s work: The solutions to today’s multiple crises—from Covid to climate change to skyrocketing economic inequality to rising white nationalism—must be public solutions.
That’s the only way to make sure that America works for everyone—all of us, no matter where we come from, what our color, or how much money we have in our pockets.
Photo by Mr.TinMD.