Place the rain barrel for the library budget prominently under the new shower of federal funding (Gazette, July 22, "The New New Deal"), please. More than ever, in the post-pandemic world we're gradually entering, the libraries are urgently needed adjuncts to our schools. Students and teachers in search of time lost to COVID want to recover the learning levels reached before disaster struck in March of 2020. The latest resources are always available at the libraries, and in a quiet atmosphere in which the mind can give itself over to thought and research.
We're lucky in Alexandria to have new immigrants from most countries of the world: they're invaluable for our culture, but they also, at the front end, need the exposure to English that our libraries provide in every conceivable form, including page turners and laugh-out-loud graphic novels. Going from strength to strength, we're also welcoming a lively new Amazon workforce and an exquisitely educated Virginia Tech academic community. As we all emerge from our COVID caves, the libraries offer meeting places not just for study but for all kinds of activities -- yoga, painting, needlework, cooking -- all sorts of laid back ways to meet people. Each library also has an annual party, open to all.
For pleasure and profit, then, you can't beat our libraries, which by the way are also charmingly attractive buildings. They deserve and will repay all investment, so let's be sure it's generous.