Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus: Worst time for budget cuts

"Budget cuts for libraries are ill advised - bordering on tragic."

I would have to say my favorite librarians my sister-in-law. My wife's sister is the head of the Children's Libraries in Toronto, Canada. Theo Harris, she's also a very gifted singer/songwriter.

Even now with the Internet, I don't think I could write what I try to write... I really rely upon reference materials library. No, things...frankly, I'm sorry, the Internet can't do it all. You actually actually need to go pick a hard book off the shelf and sit down and look at photographs and read what's underneath them sometimes.

[On budget cuts] I think it's actually... budget cuts for libraries is ill-advised is not even the right word, bordering on tragic.

I've seen an incredible increase in activity in libraries. They're training people in jobs. They're giving people who do not have the money to have Internet access, they're giving them Internet access - to train for jobs, to look for work, to better themselves.

And here's another thing, you know, we live in a country where you've got to spend fifty-thousand dollars a year to put your kid through college. That's not democracy. Democracy is dependent upon having an educated public, and I think it's actually come down to libraries.

They're the ones who can do this.

So budget cuts now, the worst time possible. What libraries bring to every American is actually working democracy. As far as I'm concerned, I think it is the institution that not only embodies democracy, which is a free exchange of ideas and information, but actually leads the way. I think it's actually most American institution we have.

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Book Title: 

House of Sand and Fog