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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Power in Numbers

By Susan Cassagne
Executive Director
Mississippi Library Commission

“The health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”
-Carl Sagan, renowned astrophysicist/astrobiologist

There is power in numbers. How often have we heard those words throughout our lives, only to picture something that didn’t seem to apply to us as we moved through our normal day? Have you ever had the opportunity to gather with a group of like-minded folks to stand up for something you believe to be important to those you value? It is a powerful feeling.

Throughout time, having something to fight for has been a part of the human condition. It is part of what makes us the complicated, larger-than-life species that runs the planet. Our greatest sense of accomplishment can come from working for a cause and seeing those efforts create positive change for all involved.

Public libraries across Mississippi change lives and build communities. It happens on a daily basis with little fanfare. They open their doors each day to offer inspiration, education, assistance, and a window to the world outside the Magnolia State. In many of our communities, the public library may be the only place to connect with all of life’s possibilities. This certainly sounds like a worthy cause… one we can all believe in and support.

Eighty-one percent of the funds appropriated to the Mississippi Library Commission from the legislature are in turn allocated to the state’s 52 public library systems. This invaluable funding also comes with support through leadership, advocacy and training. We ask that you keep in mind that your vote elected our lawmakers so they can use their influence to support what benefits your community. It’s easy to assume that government supports public libraries, and most do—we just need to make our presence known as a reminder of our value to the 2.9 million residents of Mississippi. It is time. Time to gather together to build a strong group of advocates… to feel the power… the power in numbers.

Join us on the First Floor Rotunda of the Mississippi State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8th from 11:00am to 2:00pm as we advocate for libraries across the state.

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