by Timothy Page
A Senate bill introduced on March 17, as well as two House bills introduced on March 29, would protect Vermont State College physical libraries from being reduced or eliminated.
S.134, H.498, and H.502 would “prohibit the Vermont State Colleges from closing or reducing in size or scope the operation of the physical libraries on any of their campuses without legislative approval. It would also prohibit the Vermont State Colleges from reducing the number of positions, employees, or employee hours assigned to the operation or support of their libraries below the numbers in effect on January 1, 2023 without legislative approval.“
The bills were lead-sponsored by Senator Brian Collamore (R-Rutland), Representative Jarrod Sammis (R-Castleton), and Representative Charles “Butch” Shaw (R-Pittsford), respectively, and read into the House and Senate Education Committees.
Even though I haven’t read the bills yet, I 100% support this synopsis. Preserving the libraries is at the top of my list. There can be no learning without access to books on many topics, or the face to face discussions that take place in libraries and real educational institutions. There has been too much isolation and division created in digital only, anonymous “cloud spaces” where there is no respect for other peoples views, and no accountability for censorship or bad behavior.