Save the Mohave County, Arizona Rural Libraries
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There is a motion before the Mohave County, Arizona Board of Supervisors to close all rural libraries. This would mean closing seven libraries, leaving only the ones in the three biggest cities (Kingman, Bullhead City, and Lake Havasu). While there is a bookmobile and books by mail program, not everyone can take advantage of them. The rural areas have some of the lowest levels of literacy in Mohave County. In closing the rural libraries, the Board of Supervisors would be taking away much needed resources that we cannot afford to lose.
It has also been stated that one of these libraries is only utilized by by a school. This was given as a reason to close said library. However, to me this says that this school has no library of its own and needs the resources of the community library for its students to succeed.
Putting aside the literacy aspect for a moment, we need to look at what losing computer access would do to these communities. The libraries do not just have entertainment value. They are also used for computer and internet access. To clarify, this means that libraries are being used for: Job Searches, Online Schooling, Online Business, Research and many other activities. The areas where the Board of Supervisors would close the libraries are very low income and not only do a majority of the residents not have access to the internet, other than the library, but some aren't even on the power grid.
Also, as a low income, rural area a large portion of the population do not have reliable transportation and there is no mass transit available except in the cities. This means that very few people would be able to travel the thirty minutes or more it takes to get to the nearest city in order to go to the library.
In summary, there are multiple reasons why it would be a very bad idea to close our rural libraries.
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